I recently saw a post for a shaved asparagus recipe and I thought it looked so elegant I’d have to give it a go. My efforts don’t look quite as elegant! However this Asparagus Fennel and Orange salad is delicious. It is really light and fresh tasting. I knew the flavours would complement each other well but I didn’t think it would be this good.
I’m not the biggest fan of aniseed flavours so I was a little cautious with the fennel. When I tasted it though I added a heap more, it is lovely with the orange dressing. I have to admit that I ate the whole lot of this as my dinner one night so when I say serves 2, it depends on who you’re serving!
This would make a lovely side salad and I think it would be particularly good paired with crab or duck. Leave out the feta in that case. If you are not a fan of asparagus, some tenderstem broccoli or brussels sprouts would be a perfect substitute. If you have blood oranges they would be a gorgeous colour contrast for this but it’s a bit too late in the season right now for them.
Serves 2 as a light meal, more as a side
- 350g of asparagus (approx. 16 spears)
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 2 oranges
- 5 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- 60g of feta cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 20g of pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan until golden brown
- Start by segmenting the oranges over a bowl, allowing the juice to fall into the bowl and leave the segments to one side. The best way to segment the orange is to take a slice off the top and bottom of the orange, put it on a chopping board and slide a knife down the sides to remove the peel and pith. Then hold the orange in your hand and use a small sharp knife to cut in next to the membranes and you will have neat orange segments.
- When the orange is segmented, squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl. To make your salad dressing, add the olive oil and mustard to the juice and a nice pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk this well together and taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Keep in mind that the feta will also be salty.
- Trim the fennel bulb, cut out the tough core and very finely slice it using a sharp knife or mandolin. Add it to the dressing and mix through.
- The asparagus does not need any cooking as it will be sliced thinly. To do this hold it flat on a board by the tough end and use a good y-shaped vegetable peeler to ‘shave’ the asparagus. You will get beautifully fine slices of asparagus. Discard the tough woody ends.
- Put the asparagus into your serving bowl and add the orange segments.
- Pour over the fennel and dressing and use your hands to toss everything together thoroughly. Be gentle, over enthusiastic mixing will break up your orange segments like I did!
- Crumble over the feta and toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.
For a great recipe using white asparagus have a look at Katia’s Asperges en Vinaigrette