Sicily is home to all things citrus with an astounding 67% of Italian citrus farms located here. This southern region is often referred to as the land of oranges growing many varieties including the famed Arancia Rossa (blood orange). This distinct orange with its crimson pulp is considered by many, the essence of the island and can be eaten fresh or utilized for juices, jams, sauces, marinades and in the classic salad with fennel.
This traditional Sicilian recipe makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish to accompany grilled fish.
RECIPE: Sicilian Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
- 2 bulbs of fennel
- 3 blood oranges
- 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8–10 black olives
- fine salt and ground black pepper to season
First clean the fennel, removing the stems and the toughest and most stringy outer leaves, then rinse well. Dry and slice it thinly using a knife or mandolin. Arrange the fennel slices in a salad bowl or on a plate and set aside. Next, squeeze half an orange and set the juice aside.
Peel and segment the remaining two oranges and place them in the bowl with the fennel. Season with salt and ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and the reserved orange juice.
Add the black olives and mix everything well to blend all the flavours and serve.