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Monday, June 11, 2012

Orange salad with grilled fennel and buffalo mozzarella

     I love grilled fennel.    My inspiration for this recipe comes from travels to Sicily and my favorite Sicilian cook, my mother.  Growing up, my mother always prepared orange salad as a side dish for many great summer meals. Refreshing and tangy with the right amount of bite from onion and the way the juices and olive oil combined to make a heavenly dressing, it is truly one of my favorite things to eat.
    The addition of grilled fennel and fresh mozzarella make a well rounded salad especially perfect for summer dining.  The result  is and incredible combination of flavors, textures and colors.  The caramelized grilled fennel is intense but not overpowering. The oranges and sharp red onions give sweetness and a good bite to the dish.  Basil and mint give freshness and the creamy, buttery rich mozzarella bring it all together for a flavor and mouth feel that is out of this world.  Of course, this salad can be made with raw fennel as well but I feel that grilling it is what brings this salad over the top. One bite and you will find it difficult to stop eating this refreshing and delicious salad.

1 fresh fennel bulb
1 fresh navel orange or Sicilian blood orange peeled and cut in cubes, pith removed
1 fresh buffalo milk mozzarella
1/2 of a small red onion thinly sliced
3-4 fresh basil leaves
3-4 fresh mint leaves
good quality extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
 Cut fennel length wise 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until slightly charred on the edges and nicely caramelized.  Set aside and allow to cool.
 Cut the mozzarella in thin slices and place on a plate or platter.
Layer the grilled fennel with oranges and sliced red onion on top of the mozzarella and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tear the mint and basil leaves by hand and place over salad. Drizzle salad with extra virgin olive oil and remaining juice from cut orange.
 This salad can be enjoyed on its own for a nice light lunch or makes a perfect match for any grilled meat, chicken or fish dish.


Velva said...

This looks amazing. I love fennel and the idea of roasting it sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.


Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

What a beautiful salad. Your mother must have loved you a lot to make that salad often! :)

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

What a beautiful salad. Your mother must have loved you a lot to make that salad often! :)

whozyerdanny said...

Thank you! I really enjoyed making this. It brought back many memories and as always, fueled my passion for cooking even more.

Jill~a SaucyCook said...

Please do excuse any excess drool I inadvertently left on your beautiful blog! I have never tried grilling fennel and now I wonder why. And blood oranges, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil....omg this looks and sounds divine.


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