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Author Notes: This recipe is so easy to brand your own. If you don't have slivered almonds, use Marcona almonds. No almonds, try some pistachios. Walnuts go well with oranges and fennel also. The amounts. Love avocado? Throw in an extra one. I usually do. While you are at it, toast some extra nuts. They are great in the salad, and also good to snack on while you are making the dressing. The dressing. If you want, swap out canola oil for the olive oil. If you are using walnuts for the salad, use a little walnut oil. No white balsamic vinegar? Try Champagne or white wine vinegar, or do you like to use cider vinegar? (Hint: Before you cut the rind from the oranges, grate them. Use some of the rind in the salad dressing. Spread the rest of the rind onto a plate. The next day, as it starts to dry out, spread it more thinly, breaking up any clumps. After a couple of days, when it is good and dried out, place it in a jar. You will have very fragrant dried orange peel.) After you have cut the peel off of the oranges, cut between the membranes to release the segments over a bowl to catch the juice from the oranges. Use some in the dressing and drink the rest. —bella s.f.
Makes enough for 4, but we want to have it just for the two of us, so that we can have a wonderful lunch the next day.
- 1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored, and cut width-wise into 1/8" slices
- 2 large naval oranges, peeled (grate the rind first! see above) and cut into segments
- 1 large Haas avocado, peeled and cut into cubes (save the pit and plant it)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted just before serving, so that they are warm (and toasty!)
- 1 really big handful of arugula, washed and spun dry
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 healthy pinch of Kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper to your heart's content
- 1/3 - 1/2 cups olive oil (not extra virgin, but not light!)
- Place the fennel, orange segments, and avocado into a bowl.
- Put the vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper into a glass measuring cup, and whisk till smooth. Add the oil slowly, whisking till well combined. (Or, place all of the ingredients, except for the oil, into a jar. Shake to combine. Add the oil and shake again.) Taste and adjust to your liking. Does it need salt? Do you want it tarter? More oil? Make it yours.
- Pour enough dressing over the salad in the bowl to get the ingredients as wet as you like. Spoon the dressed veggies over the arugula on a favorite plate or bowl. Sprinkle with the warm, toasted slivered almonds.
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