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Honey-Kissed Fennel and Orange Salad with Candied Almonds

Posted Jan 13 2010 7:24am

Serves 2-4

Lemon, orange and fennel give this refreshing salad a tangy hit, while raisins and honey balance the act with their delightful sweetness. Candied almonds bring it over the top. Makes a perfect dinner party salad or appetizer. Some of the honey can be replaced with liquid stevia, if desired.

Cooking Tip: Ever wonder how to get brightly-colored orange segments without the white membranes? This is called to “supreme” or segment an orange. First, slice off the blossom and stem ends of the orange. Lay it flat-side-down and run a knife from the top to bottom around the orange to remove the peel and white pith. Holding the skinless orange in one hand, use a paring knife to very carefully cut along the inside edges of the membranes that line each segment. The segments should pop right out. The trick is to get as close as you can to the membrane without touching them so that you are left with the bright orange flesh and no white membrane.

SALAD
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, stems removed
2 medium oranges, peeled and segmented (optionally supremed, see above)
1/4 cup raisins
2-4 mint leaves (for garnish)

CANDIED ALMONDS
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel or anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
Dash salt
1 tablespoon honey

Whisk the lemon juice, honey and mint in a small dish. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while vigorously whisking to create a good emulsion. Pour the dressing into a large shallow dish.

Thinly slice the fennel bulb and toss the slices into the dressing as you work to keep them from oxidizing. Add the orange segments and raisins and toss with the dressing. Let marinate while candying the almonds (15-20 minutes).

For the candied almonds, heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and dry toast for 3-4 minutes, flipping frequently to brown all sides. When lightly toasted and fragrant, remove from the heat and add the spices, salt and honey. Stir constantly for a couple minutes until the honey starts to thicken. Transfer to a plate and cool until crunchy, about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the salad onto 2-4 plates. Top each salad with some chopped almonds and a mint leaf.

Reserve the remaining juice and serve with fruit or mix it into a smoothie (or better yet… drink it down on the spot as if it were the nectar of the Gods!)

Food photos by Jackson D. Carson

Copyright Alison Anton. 2010. All rights reserved.

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