We’re currently going through that awkward time of year when it’s still winter; still cold, bleak, and unapologetically, seemingly, never-ending. And then you spy the little daffy-down-dillies popping up by the side of the road, tossing their heads as if to beckon the sunshine. And suddenly spring sunshine and April showers don’t seem quite so far away after all.
I’ve actually just got back from experiencing the biting cold of New York City, so I’m beginning to appreciate England’s weather as being mild and almost even warm in comparison. I even visited the beach the other day …
Well, this salad is the perfect way to breach the seasons. Citruses are actually primarily a winter-fruit, and one of the great things about this time of year. Although in this recipe I have used mandarin oranges, please use the clementine variety if possible as they are seedless. We can also use blood oranges which add a lovely pop of colour and are readily available until April.
Although there is an overwhelming freshness to this dish, the complexity of flavours is driven by it’s ingredients. Fennel has a liquorice and minty crisp palate, whereas arugula is peppery and biting. Clementines are sweet little jewels amongst the green, and mustard adds a welcome punchy after note.
Fresh shaved Fennel, Mandarin, Arugula, and Mustard Salad
Exciting flavours of tangy, juicy, fresh and spicy take you for an adventure with a fresh & easily prepared salad.
- 2 (small) mandarin oranges
- 1 fennel bulb
- A handful of arugula (salad rocket) leaves
- Shavings of apple skin
- 1 tsp of mustard
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Using a thin sharp knife, cut the fennel bulb into half and finely shred.
- Next we are going to suprême our citrus: start by cutting off a little of the top and bottom of your orange. Next, carefully trim the skin and white pith away completely. Grab a bowl and place it under your workplace to catch the orange juices while you work. Now, to separate the segments, place your knife just under where you can see the clear membrane of the orange. You want to cut to the middle of the orange, then turn your knife around and pry out the segment – the other half should disconnect from the membrane and you will be left with a wedge of orange flesh. Repeat this step with the remaining segments – it will get easier.
- Arrange the orange segments, fennel, and fresh arugula (rocket) together on a plate ready for dressing.
- To dress, mix olive oil and wholegrain mustard seeds with the orange juice in the bowl. Drizzle lightly over salad.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave a very small few amounts of apple skin for garnish, and serve.