Saturday, 6 April 2013

Blood Orange, Fennel and Avocado Salad

Exciting news: I have a job! Yesterday was my first day, though I was training and only there for a few hours. But so far, I'm pretty excited about it. I work in a little teahouse which has a huge assortment of looseleaf tea - and I LOVE tea. I have been stressing about not being able to get a job here for the summer, but I feel like I really lucked out with this place. So far, so good - I didn't break anything and didn't get fired, and people are quite friendly.

Though, now I might have too much to do - I am also taking two classes this summer and was offered a part-time job coaching. On top of that, I finally have my MRI appointment on Wednesday and am desperately hoping that I might be able to row, or at least train, this summer. If I had 36 hours in a day or never needed to sleep, that would be great. I have some figuring out to do, but this is vastly better than a week ago when I thought that I would be jobless and injured for the summer.

What's more, right now I have not only these two jobs, but also finals and an impending move hanging over my head. I am currently spending a lot of time in the library daydreaming about food while waiting for my GIS commands to execute (If you are curious, GIS = Geographic Information Science. If you aren't, I'm just waiting for my computer to do stuff). Last night I was here until the library closed, but my fantasies were finally rewarded when I came home to this truly dream-worthy salad.

I have to be honest, I only made this salad because of the breathtaking assortment of blood orange and fennel salads I have been seeing on the internet. I have never used fennel before in my life, and really had no idea what to do with the strange mandrake-like bulb which I picked up at the market. I looked at it in confusion for a few minutes, wondering why I had bought such a strange thing. Then I nibbled one end to see what it tasted like. And then I tried to figure out how to cut it. Did I cut it properly? Is there a proper way to cut fennel? I really couldn't tell you, but I can tell you that this salad is amazing. Seriously. It's kind of like a dessert. But it's a salad. Magic!

I don't know what it is about this salad - the combination of creamy avocado, crunchy fennel with its tantalizing hint of licorice, and sweet orange slices and dressing somehow creates the most amazing mix of flavours. I seriously want to eat this salad every single day. Which is good, because I don't really know what else to do with the rest of my fennel.

  • Slices of fennel
  • Blood orange, peeled and sliced
  • Sunflower sprouts
  • Baby kale (arugula would work as well)
  • Thinly sliced avocado
  • Dressing (see below)

Really, that's all there is to it. Chop up a few things, put them in a bowl, and pour some dressing overtop.

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
Shake it all up in a jar, and pour however much you want over your salad! You can omit the agave nectar if you want your dressing less sweet, since there is already plenty of sweetness from the orange juice. This is a pretty low-oil dressing, so you may want to play with the amount of olive oil if you want a more traditional consistency.

The Mermaid Cafe is now on twitter! Follow me @themermaidcafe_ for recipes and random thoughts.

If you want to check out another blood orange and fennel salad, Kiran Tarun has an absolutely gorgeous one here.

I am submitting this to Deb's Souper Sundays roundup... yes, it is a salad, but I'm sure it will make some friends there. :)


  1. I almost bought a bag of blood oranges the other day. Now I want to find them and make this salad. I love all the components--especially the fennel. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week! ;-)

  2. Oh yes, I almost forgot to say congrats on the new job! That's exciting. I love tea and would probably buy/drink my wages in it. ;-)

  3. I highly recommend it, especially if you can find blood oranges that don't cost an arm and a leg... Which you will hopefully have better luck with in Hawaii! The price I paid for them is the only thing stopping me from eating this every day.

    Thank you! I get a couple of free teas every shift, which should hopefully stop me from drinking my wages in it.... We'll see, though ;) This will probably turn into a recipes plus tea recommendations blog haha.

  4. Yay! Way-to-go on the tea cafe job-score. It seems like the perfect fit! :)

  5. Oh, hello there! I'm glad that you were finally able to comment :) And thank you, I'm pretty happy about it!

  6. Hi Mira,

    Congrats on the job offer and thanks for linking to my recipe! I love your salad with avocado.. Looks amazing :)

    1. Thanks, Kiran! Your photos are beautiful


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