Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

When its dreary and cold, or as the Scots would say “dreich”, I always crave something zesty and full of sunshine and this salad gives me all of that simply and quickly with its Mediterranean flavours of aniseed fennel, salty olives and the bright zesty sunshine taste of the oranges.  That’s the strange thing;  oranges (and indeed all citrus fruit), which look like bright orange orbs of sunshine, are at their best right now, in January. Winter.  Not a lot of sunshine.  Duh?

Most importantly, and particularly so for all you who share Paddington’s favourite food, Seville Oranges have arrived!! Y Viva Espana!!  NOTE:  Hurry as they are only here for a few weeks although you can buy them and stick them whole in the freezer if you haven’t time to make marmalade right now.Anyway, this weekend I made  Seville Orange Marmalade  and I used the time it took to shred and cook catching up on some podcasts.   The atmosphere in the kitchen was full of sunshine as the smell of the oranges and the content of the podcasts cheered me up!

Seville Orange Marmalade


In the spirit of total honesty, I now have to admit that as well as those seville oranges I had also succumbed to buying some blood oranges as I was toying with the idea of making blood orange marmalade as well. But by the end of the day I wasn’t really feeling like starting on another batch of marmalade so I succumbed to making this, one of my favourite salads, a variation of which I first had in a lovely little Italian restaurant in Covent Garden.   Try it, I bet you wont be disappointed.

This recipe multiplies up easily and its smart enough to serve to friends as a starter yet at the same time as being reassuringly casual with its simplicity.  Three ingredients plus salt and pepper!   Leave out the olives if you don’t like them and drizzle over some virgin olive oil instead of the oil in the olive jar.  If you don’t have blood oranges, use sweet oranges instead.



Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 3 blood oranges (or sweet if you can’t get hold of them)
  • 1 bulb of fennel (preferably with green fronds on the top for garnish)
  • 12 olives in olive oil
  • salt and pepper




  1. Use a knife to peel the oranges, making sure you take off the peel and pith completely
  2. Slice the oranges as thinly as you can without breaking up the orange, reserving any juices that may escape
  3. Trim the fennel, putting any green fronds to one side, and again slice thinly, endeavouring to keep the slices whole.
  4. Arrange fennel and oranges slices prettily upon the plate.
  5. Place olives on top
  6. Add a drizzle of olive oil (either from jar or use some extra virgin) about 1 tbsp per plate
  7. Squeeze any remaining orange flesh left in peel or from board, or indeed any part slices over the plates.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  9. Chop the fennel fronds and scatter over each plate

Listening to:  Fortunately …..with Fi and Jane on BBC Sounds.   Makes me laugh out loud!



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