A classic winter salad to begin with, this dish is made both texturally and visually intriguing by the sweet and sexy addition of pomegranate seeds. The optional addition of paper-thin red onion slices and an oil and lemon dressing makes a lot of sense; the sharpness of onion works well with the sweet combo of fennel and pomegranate and the creamy contrast of sharp cheese.
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large blood oranges, peeled and segmented
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper
6-ounce piece of hard pecorino
(sardo or Tuscan) cheese
Use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice the fennel as thin as possible. Place the fennel slices in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the blood orange segments and pomegranate seeds, season to taste with salt and pepper; and toss gently to mix.
Arrange the fennel salad on 4 individual plates. Shave the pecorino in long shards over the top of each plate and serve.
Mario Batali Simple Italian Food:
Recipes from My Two Villages
By Mario Batali
Hardback, Price: $30.00
288 pages, 32 full-color photographs
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created February 1999
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