Fronds are those cute frilly light green leafy things attached to the stalks that grow out of a fennel bulb. They look like fresh dill, and they have a light taste similar to aniseeds. I grow fennels in my garden especially for these, I add this to spinach or chard to make the Greek kaltzunias (little small pies) and to attract butterflies in my garden. If you buy fennel with these, don’t throw these away and if you do not need them at the moment, freeze them! If you do not get them, then replace them with tinny fennel bulb slices.
The origin of fennel and orange salad is not completely known, but it may have its roots in the Arab world and come to Europe after the invasions of Spain and. The orange salad was created as a poor dish (wild fennel can be found at the border of many roads) and it doesn’t require cooking. Today, the fennel and orange salad is known all over the world and it is served as an appetizer/salad or as a final dish after an important meal.
I love to collect fennel fronds if traveling in Greece in Early spring, the same period as oranges get ripe.
In this recipe I completed the ingredients with avocado for its soft texture and the taste which combines well with citrus, In addition a roasted pine nuts give a welcome crunchy texture.
For the dressing I opted for some white balsamic vinegar flavoured with honey and Dijon mustard.
Avocado and Oranges Salad with Fennel Fronds
- Green salad leaves to cover the bottom and the sides of the serving bowl, washed
- 2 ripe but firm avocados (reserve some slices for decoration drizzled with lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 oranges peeled and diced (make a few slices and reserve for decoration)
- 2-4 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped (reserve some for the topping)
- 2-4 tablespoons green onions slices (reserve some for the topping)
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Reserved herbs
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
- Arrange the green salad in the bowl.
- Peel and slice the first avocado, place then in another bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss well with your hands. Peel and slice the second avocado add this to the first and gently again toss them together.
- Add the other ingredients for the salad over the avocados.
- Combine well the ingredients for the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and very gently toss them together.
- Place the mixture over the arranged salad leaves, decorate with the reserved avocado and orange slices and sprinkle with the herbs and the pine nuts