Sicilian Orange and Fennel Salad

Everyone seems to agree that the orange and fennel salad (insalata di arancia e finocchio) originated on the island of Sicily, but its history is somewhat obscure. Some say that the successive Arab conquests of the island may have introduced the recipe, but I think that it was just a local poor man's dish that didn't require any cooking and could be made with ingredients that were readily available. On Sicily, the oranges are known as portualle, which is where the original Italian name for this dish comes from – insalata di portualle. The root of this name tell us possibly more of the origin of the salad, because portualle means 'Portuguese (sailors)'.
Elsewhere, this salad is mostly seen as a fresh summer dish, but on Sicily it will be served prominently during the winter months. Both oranges and fennel are ingredients that ripen in winter. 

Similar salads are still found in nearby Algeria and Tunesia, where raw fennel is often used to create distinctive salads. Fennel delivers its aromatic anise-like flavour, which pairs so nice with the tangy-sweetness of the oranges. Today, the orange and fennel salad is known all over the world and in Italy it is served as an appetizer or as a final light dish after a copious meal.

- 3 bulbs of fennel
- 3 oranges
- olive oil

How to:
- Very thinly slice the fennel
- Peel and slice the oranges
- Arrange on a platter
- Drizzle some olive oil over the dish

No comments:

Post a Comment