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
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.