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Fennel, Arugula and Orange Salad with Orange Pecan Vinaigrette

Fennel, Arugula and Orange Salad with Orange Pecan Vinaigrette

Take the brightness of fennel mingle it with peppery arugula and toss with sweet orange, creamy avocados, toasted pecans and fresh Parmesan and Fontina. Then dress it with orange pecan vinaigrette – absolutely wonderful for a midweek meal!

It’s a simple salad with a gorgeous array of ingredients. Fennel and arugula get things started with a balance of flavors from the subtle sweetness of oranges and richness of ripe avocados. Toss in a nutty crunch from toasted pecans and luscious Parmesan and Fontina cheese.

Fennel is an often-overlooked bulb vegetable and it’s loaded with vitamin C along with iron and potassium. If you’ve avoided fennel because its flavor profile is most commonly compared to licorice, set that notion aside and give it a try. I’ve never been a fan of licorice but there’s something vibrant and fresh about fennel.

Arugula is often a minor player in recipes though it shouldn’t be. Known to boost the immune system, this sturdy green brings a nice spice to any plate. And unlike traditional salad greens arugula holds up even after it’s coated with vinaigrette.

Now drizzle everything in a rich orange and pecan vinaigrette.

This orange pecan vinaigrette has subtle notes of orange – compliments of fresh juice and zest – with a splash of champagne vinegar to add a bit of acid. Use a high quality olive oil – Olio Santo is one of my favorites. It’s known for it’s fruity flavor – it’s a key component so don’t skimp! The toasted pecans lend a depth that ties into the vinaigrette in an unsuspecting way.

First course, second course, lunch or dinner!

Fennel, Arugula and Orange Salad with Orange Pecan Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

Zest from 1 navel orange, about 2 teaspoons

Juice from 1 large navel orange, about ½ cup

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons toasted pecans

For the salad:

4 cups arugula

1-1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel, about 1 small bulb – white portion only

1 large navel orange, chopped

1 avocado, cubed

½ cup shaved Parmesan and Fontina cheese blend

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

To make the vinaigrette:

Combine the orange zest and orange juice with the champagne vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, pepper and sugar in a food processor. Process for about 20 to 30 seconds to blend together.

Add the olive oil and process for about 30 seconds. Toss in the toasted pecans and process until the vinaigrette is blended and the pecans are finely chopped, about 1 to 2 minutes.

To assemble the salad:

Mix the arugula with the sliced fennel and orange pieces in a large bowl.

Add the shaved cheese, the avocado along with the toasted pecans.

Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat.

Fennel, Arugula and Orange Salad with Orange Pecan Vinaigrette, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

March 27, 2019
: Makes 4 servings for entrees, 6 for first course servings.

Take the brightness of fennel mingle it with peppery arugula and toss with orange, avocado, toasted pecans and some fresh Parmesan and Fontina. Then dress it with orange pecan vinaigrette – absolutely wonderful for a midweek or weekend meal!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • Zest from 1 navel orange, about 2 teaspoons
  • Juice from 1 large navel orange, about ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons toasted pecans
  • For the salad:
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel, about 1 small bulb – white portion only
  • 1 large navel orange, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan and Fontina cheese blend
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the vinaigrette:
  • Step 2 Combine the orange zest and orange juice with the champagne vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, pepper and sugar in a food processor. Process for about 20 to 30 seconds to blend together.
  • Step 3 Add the olive oil and process for about 30 seconds.
  • Step 4 Toss in the toasted pecans and process until the vinaigrette is blended and the pecans are finely chopped, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Step 5 To assemble the salad:
  • Step 6 Mix the arugula with the sliced fennel and orange pieces in a large bowl. Add the shaved cheese, the avocado along with the toasted pecans.
  • Step 7 Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat.


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