This salad showcases fall's freshest ingredients. It is light and refreshing, yet flavorful enough to sit comfortably on the Thanksgiving table with the stuffing, gravy and turkey. Because the fennel is a digestive, it's nice to have this salad at the end of a meal.
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large or a few small fennel bulbs, with stalks attached
- 1 medium head radicchio, cored and cut into thin slices
- 2 Asian persimmons (such as Fuyu), peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (see NOTE)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (sold in packs in the produce department), for garnish
Whisk together the orange juice, sugar, salt, pepper and oil in a large bowl until emulsified.
Trim any fennel stalks flush with bulb, reserving some of the leafy fronds on the stalks to garnish the salad; discard the stalks. Cut out and discard the core of fennel bulb(s), then cut the bulb(s) lengthwise into thin strips to yield about 2 cups.
Add the persimmon cubes, fennel strips, chopped hazelnuts and radicchio slices to the bowl; toss to coat evenly with the dressing. Garnish with the fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.
*NOTE: To toast the hazelnuts, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to promote even (yet light) browning.
From Cynthia A. Brown, assistant director at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.
Tested by Cynthia A. Brown.
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