Asparagus Fennel and Orange Salad

Asparagus Fennel and Orange Salad - A Cookbook Collection

Asparagus Fennel and Orange Salad -A Cookbook Collection

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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.Shaved Asparagus - A Cookbook Collection
  • 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

Asparagus Fennel and Orange Salad - A Cookbook Collection

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