In India, it is customary to offer our guests roasted fennel seeds after a meal. Fennel seeds have an intoxicating smell that I would describe as liquorish. While most people think that we eat fennel seeds to refresh our breath after a meal, they are unaware of the wonders fennel does in their digestive system! The essential oils in fennel stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines, facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. Fennel is also known to eliminate constipation.
It has been unusually sunny the past few days in Vancouver, so I decided to celebrate the sunny weather with a light, citrusy, summer salad! While I have been eating fennel seeds since I was a young kid back in India, I was only introduced to fresh fennel in the western world. I love using fennel in vegetable stocks, salads or even braise it in white wine. This is a versatile vegetable that can be used to add a lovely liquorish aroma to a number of dishes, but my personal favorite is raw fennel in a salad!
To make vinaigrette - Put lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a jar. Close the lid and shake well.
Using a sharp paring knife, peel blood oranges and slice crosswise into thin slices.
Put shaved fennel, radishes and herbs in a big bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette on top and mix well to coat evenly. Mound the mixture on a plate, arrange the orange slices over, garnish with pine nuts and some more herbs on top.
Mound the mixture on a plate, arrange the orange slices over, garnish with pine nuts and some more herbs on top.