We’ve had a heat wave in Seattle. At least, I’m calling it a heat wave, but does it count as a wave if it’s been going on for over a month? In any case, the days have been long and hot, ranging in the 80’s-90’s. As a result, our stove (and oven!) have been getting minimal use, and grill and no-cook recipes reign supreme. These PNW summers are taking some getting used to!
Last week, my Imperfect Produce box included a gorgeous selection of citrus and a giant head of fennel. Friday afternoon neared 90° and turning on any heat source seemed insane. So for lunch I whipped up a little Fennel Friday salad and I’m sharing it today for Meatless Monday (see what I did there?).
Fennel & Citrus Salad
Active time: 15 minutes
- 1 head fennel with fronds attached
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 blood orange
- Queso fresco
- Olive oil
- Maldon sea salt
Rinse your fennel to remove any grit or dirt – taking care to let some water run between the root segments. Trim the fronds and reserve for garnish, and trim off the bottom of the root, trying to keep the bulb as intact as possible.
Shave the fennel thinly on your mandoline and tumble onto your serving plate.
I prefer to supreme my citrus, though if you wanted to keep it simple, you could simply cut away the pith and slice yours into rounds across the fruit to keep the cross-section pattern. Arrange your citrus supremes around the fennel and then squeeze the excess juices over the salad.
Crumble your queso fresco over the salad, and then drizzle generously with olive oil. Add a sprinkling of fennel fronds, flaky sea salt, and fresh-ground pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, and stay cool!
This is another “no recipe” recipe, so feel free to tinker with your ingredients to accommodate whatever you have on hand. Fennel and citrus are a classic pairing, but it would be great with watermelon and tomatoes for the fruit, or with a fresno chile (or other mild chile) for a little heat.
I only had queso fresco on hand, but this would also be good with another fresh cheese.
Some other combos:
- Cucumber ribbons, assorted melon, mint, ricotta salata (add prosciutto?!)
- Watermelon, fresno chile, fennel, and queso fresco
- Shaved beets, peach, cucumber ribbons, basil, and burrata