Raw fennel and oranges are a traditional pairing. I like Cara Cara oranges, a low-acid, sweet-tasting navel type with a vivid hot-pink interior.
• 3 fennel bulbs, 3 to 3-1/2 inches across
• 6 small scallions
• 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• Coarse sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
• 1 tbsp orange juice
• 2 Cara Cara oranges
• 4 small handfuls of arugula
Scrub and trim the fennel bulbs, quarter them lengthwise, and cut out the cores. Holding the segments together at the top, shred them using a mandoline or grater. You can also use a food processor with a shredding attachment. Trim the scallions, removing the roots and any wilted foliage. Cut both white and green parts into 1/4-inch segments, and then reserve 1/3 cup of the green tops. Combine the fennel, cheese, remaining scallions, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and orange juice in a second bowl. Add half the dressing to the fennel mixture and stir. Peel the oranges, picking off as much white pith as you can without tearing the fruit. Slice thinly, horizontally.
To assemble the salad, place a handful of arugula on each of 4 salad plates. Mound the dressed fennel in the center of each. Arrange 3 orange slices on the side of each plate, making a cut in each circle from the outside to the center so you have a necklace instead of a ring. Overlap one end over the other to give the slice a little height. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the arugula and the oranges, and sprinkle the reserved scallion tops over all. Serve immediately.
More Recipes with Fennel and Scallions
Garden writer Barbara Damrosch grows fennel, scallions and much more with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. Find even more seasonal, simple recipes in her latest book, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.