I’m still on the “fresh beginnings” bandwagon with this post. And if you’re looking for fresh, this salad is it! Light, fresh, refreshing with the bright flavors of citrus, the mild flavors of butter lettuce, and a beautifully light vinaigrette. This has to be one of my favorite salads of all time and because I’ve been craving salads lately, I’ve made this over and over again in the past two months. Whether you’re eating healthier because it’s January, or you just like salads, this salad is perfect!
The first time I had this, we were over at a friend’s house for dinner. She made a simple dinner of linguini with clams and this salad and I was hooked. I’ve been making it ever since!
So, usually, I make this salad with fennel. But, for some odd reason, when I went to make this recipe for the blog, I could not find one ounce of fennel in the city! And I went to several stores! So, because I do make it without fennel sometimes, it became a winter citrus salad with the option of adding fennel.
I’m actually not a huge fan of fennel because I absolutely detest licorice. I cannot stand the flavor. Thus, I’d always been wary of fennel because it has a licorice-like flavor. Something about its addition in this salad, however, maybe something about the fennel combined with citrus, but the combination was amazing! So if you’re like me and don’t like licorice, or maybe don’t like fennel, give it a try in this salad—you may like it!
That being said, my husband still doesn’t like fennel, even in the salad, so I know from experience that this salad is just as good without the fennel. You’ll just be missing the crunchy aspect of this salad.
As for the vinaigrette—the recipe calls for champagne vinegar, but because that can be difficult to find/expensive, you can substitute it for white balsamic vinegar or even a light balsamic vinegar. At the moment, I have a pomegranate vinegar I’ve been using that goes very well. You just want something light and fruity. Something like balsamic vinegar will be too heavy.
Also, try to use the best olive oil you can. Because it’s one of the stars of the show, you will be able to taste any flavor that is off.
- 1 head of butter lettuce
- 1 bulb of fennel, without fronds (optional)
- Pieces from 2 oranges
- Juice from ½ an orange
- ¼ C. of good olive oil
- ¼ C. of champagne vinegar
- Tear up the butter lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
- Chop the fennel bulb in half, if using, and then chop each side into strips. Add to the lettuce.
- Either peel or cut off the peels of the two oranges and cut out the orange slices with a sharp knife. It will get a little messy, but I prefer the pieces without any rind attached. Add to the lettuce.
- Juice the orange half into a bowl, then add the olive oil, champagne vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.
As I said above, this goes beautifully with any type of pasta, but especially with linguini with clams (a recipe I will be posting next month). But, really, I’ve been eating it with everything.
‘Till next time!