Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Fennel and Orange Salad

Often people (especially men) believe that you "don't win friends with salad." This salad is friendly to all. If you haven't tried fennel it is a like bit liquorice flavoured. Then when you grill it you get that slight caramelization that brings in a bit of sweetness too.

I'm drawn to things that are the exception. Like grilling something that seems unlikely to grill. Like oranges!


1/2 cup (fresh) Orange juice
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (150 ml) Olive oil
Splash of hot sauce (about 1 Tsp) such as Tabasco
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 Fennel bulbs, sliced thinly about 1/4" with core intact
3 Oranges
1 bunch of watercress, remove the tough stems
1/2 cup honey roasted macadamia nuts
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare honey roasted macadamia nuts first if you can't buy them. This can be done earlier in the day or days before. See below for directions.

1. Mix Orange juice, olive oil, garlic, hot sauce, parsley and salt and pepper in glass bowl or ziplock bag.

2. Remove 1/3 of the dressing for later

3. Cut the green stalks off the white bulb of the fennel.  Slice fennel bulbs in an up and down direction keeping the bottom of the bulb intact so the slices hold together.

4. Gently place the fennel slices into the ziplock bag or dish with 2/3 of the dressing. Make sure all pieces are covered and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. You can even prepare this the day before and let it soak over night.

5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat

6. Cut the skin off the oranges with a knife. Cut the orange into thin 1/3" slices and place them in a bag or bowl in the fridge until you grill them.

7. Season the grill with oil and place the fennel on the grill. Cook with the lid up for 5-7 minutes a side depending on the power of your grill. You will want grill marks and the fennel with soften but still have a firmness to them.

8. Add the orange slices to the grill for the last 1-2 minutes. You want a grill mark on them if you can achieve it without them drying out. You need to keep a sharp eye on things at this point.

9. Remove the fennel and orange slices and arrange them on a serving plate or large bowl with the watercress and roasted macadamia nuts. Dribble the salad with the reserved dressing and serve warm. Although it is still tasty cold a day later.

Honey roasted macadamia nuts


2 Tbsp Butter
1-3 Tbsp Honey
1 Tsp Salt (for every pound of unsalted nuts)
1/2 - 1 Cup Macadamia nuts


1. Preheat oven to 350F (I use my toaster oven)

2. In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat place butter and honey. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and mixed with the honey. This will take just a few minutes.

3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet (for easier clean up) and arrange the macadamia nuts in a single layer. Drizzle with the butter/honey mixture. Place in oven.

4. Stir the nuts every 5-10 minutes until golden brown in colour. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

5. Remove when golden and sprinkle with salt. Let cool.

6. Try not to eat them all before you make the salad!

I saw this salad made on "licence to grill" and it is a winner! You can serve it to a large group or use it as a large part of your meal and combine it with tequila lime chicken skewers. It is a fresh fun meal to serve in the summer.

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