Best Spring Salad ever – Fennel, Celery, Walnuts, Watercress and Blood Oranges

Crisp, shaved fresh fennel and celery tossed with sliced blood oranges and walnuts in a delicious citrus dressing has been a famously popular cool weather salad since ancient Rome. Pair it with ocean trout, smoked salmon, chicken, lamb and/or nutty, wholegrain breads. Add some watercress too for some real zing. This combination of Fennel, Celery (chopped less finely) and Walnuts is also amazing roasted in the oven or pan, drizzle with the same sweet citrus dressing and add the remaining fresh ingredients for a warm and delightful dish!

Best Spring Salad ever – Fennel, Celery, Walnuts, Watercress and Blood orange…yumm!

Ingredients
1 orange, 2 blood orange, finely sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced
2-3 Celery stems, finely sliced
1/2 cup watercress leaves
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp fennel fronds
2 tbsp fresh walnuts, toasted
half cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
2 tbsp pitted mixed olives (optional)

Dressing (you can cheat a little and save time, by just using some freshly squeezed orange juice – almost as good!)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt to taste
a dash of local honey or sugar to sweeten
pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method
Using a small, sharp knife, peel the orange over a bowl, removing the white pith and skin, saving any juice.
Slice or segment if you like, then save any remaining juice from the rest of the orange.
To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice with 3 the orange juice, mustard, sea salt, pepper, honey, and olive oil until smooth.
Shave the fennel as finely as you can lengthways (a mandolin or slicer is good for this), and toss the fennel in the dressing with the orange segments/slices, celery, olives, watercress, mint and fennel fronds.
Place on serving plates and scatter with walnuts. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and serve. Don’t dress the salad too far ahead, fresh and zesty is better!

Thank you for supporting our local Bayside farmers and producers!
Have a super week ahead and happy local farms eating.

Kind Regards
Don