Serious Eats: Recipes
Grilling: Fennel and Orange Salad
Fennel is one of those foods that always surprises me. There are enough people out there I know that are so put-off by the stuff, I have it stored in my head that it can't be that good. So every time I do end up having it, it's always an amazement how much I really enjoy it.
Despite the strong anise aroma—something I too find a bit off-putting—the flavor tends to be a bit more mellow, especially after the fennel has been cooked, which it was in this particular salad. Grilled fennel was tossed with orange slices, almonds, mints, and a orange vinaigrette to come together as a might tasty side.
The grill gave the fennel a little sweetness and produced a nice contrast between the crunch and softness, while the juicy orange slices added another punch of sweetness that edged out over any remaining anise flavor. I'm pretty sure this combo could make at least a few fennel haters experience an unknown love for this bulb—often a surprise to myself.