Orange and Fennel Salad
insalata di arancie e finocchio
This salad is typical of Sicily, where oranges are grown in abundance. It is eaten all over the South as well, and I remember it was one of my father’s favourite salads as a pre-lunch snack to refresh himself and stimulate his taste buds – rather like an apéritif. The combination of sweet oranges, the aniseed flavour of the fennel and the saltiness of the anchovies make this a very tasty salad indeed.
4 oranges, peeled, zest and pith removed
8 black olives, sliced
1 large fennel bulb, finely sliced (reserve the feathery fronds)
8 anchovy fillets
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Take an orange in the palm of your hand and with a small, very sharp knife cut out the segments from between the membranes, discarding the pips and any pith still attached. Repeat with the remaining oranges.
Place the orange segments and sliced olives in a bowl, then add the fennel and anchovy fillets. Season with salt and pepper (be careful with the salt, as the anchovies are already quite salty). Mix in the olive oil and vinegar, leave to marinate for a minute or two and then serve. Decorate with the green feathery leaves from the fennel.
Extracted from Gennaro’s Passione by Gennaro Contaldo (Pavilion Books, approx €23). Photograph by Kim Lightbody.