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Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: none
This is an unusual variant of a salad in that it combines the sweet and sour flavors of orange and grapefruit with an unlikely player - sliced raw fennel. Raw fennel has a rather prominent black licorice flavor, which can be off-putting for a lot of people. The dressing of the salad helps to deal with that bitterness - olive oil is blended with fresh basil and reserved juice from the orange and grapefruit to create a pleasantly citrusy, palate-cleansing salad. For another interesting texture profile, toasted chopped walnuts are added. Try not to omit them, if at all possible - they really do add something to the salad. This is a naturally gluten- and refined sugar-free salad (in the event there are dietary restrictions).
- 1 large orange (any kind), peeled and cut into supremes
- 1 large grapefruit (white or ruby red), peeled and cut into supremes
- 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. reserved juice from the citrus
When you cut the fruit into supremes, put a strainer over a bowl to catch the slices and the juice. When you've cut out all the slices, squeeze the remaining membrane to release as much juice as possible - you should have just over 3 tablespoons' worth of juice.
Cut off the stalks and fronds of the fennel bulb and make sure to core it - the core is quite woody and rather unpalatable. Thinly slice or coarsely grate the fennel and add it along with the fruit supremes to a salad bowl.
In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, reserved juice and the basil leaves until well-combined and uniform in appearance. I didn't care for the full 1/4 cup of basil since it was just a bit overpowering when combined with all the other flavors, so feel free to add anywhere between 1/8 of a cup and the full amount (or more, if you're a strange basil freak).
Toast the walnuts over low heat in a dry pan for around 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Let them cool, then coarsely chop using a knife or a nut grinder. Add the walnuts to the salad, mix everything up well, then serve at room temperature or pop in the fridge to chill for awhile and then serve cold.