Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Date, Orange and Fennel Salad

Every year as December approaches, I tell myself not to overindulge in holiday merriment. I perpetually fail at this and wind up on a sweets-free January detox which is mostly miserable. This year I am trying to make a go of eating as healthy as can be expected during the holidays. Each day I try to load up on fruits, vegetables and have had good success at whipping up interesting and good-for-me meals like this salad.

I made this for lunch the other day after buying some dates on a whim. I really love the contrasting and complimentary flavors. The citrus bite of the oranges, the mellow sweetness of the dates, the sharp crunch of the fennel and the toastiness of the hazelnuts makes for a delicious combination - both unique and healthy.

I wasn't sure at first how to dress this salad but ultimately decided to keep it simple and light. A small drizzle of walnut oil along with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and the barest sprinkling of sea salt was just what it needed.

For one serving:
  • 1 orange
  • 2-3 dates, pitted and sliced into thin strips
  • 6 slices of shaved fennel
  • 8 hazelnuts
  • 2 large leaves of butter lettuce
  • Walnut oil
  • Lemon
  • Sea salt
In a small skillet, toast the hazelnuts until browned and fragrant. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Place the hazelnuts in a towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts.

Cut off both ends of the orange and then slice off the peel and pith. With a sharp paring knife, cut out the orange segments from the membranes.

Toss the lettuce, hazelnuts, orange segments, fennel and dates in a bowl. Drizzle a little walnut oil and lemon juice over the salad. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Unplanned Cooking said...

I'm trying to go on sugar detox already -- Halloween did me in. It's just so hard to go cold during the holiday season!