3-4 servings, depending on context
In this fun reversal of a traditional shaved fennel salad with touches of orange, this is an orange salad with touches of fennel. Dots of salty cheese and strips of bright pink pickled onion round it out for a perfect light lunch entrée or dinner appetizer. This dish gives off a lot of tasty juice, so be sure to serve it with some crusty bread for mopping it all up.
• You can pickle the onions (steps 1-3) immediately beforehand - and as much as a few days ahead. Store in the refrigerator if making them more than an hour in advance. You'll likely have some left over after making this recipe. They keep a long time, and are good on just about anything savory.
• The fennel mixture and orange slices can also be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated. Assemble the salad platter shortly before serving.
• Choose a fennel bulb that is tight and smooth and ranges from white to light green, with no brown areas.
• Any kind of orange will work.
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar, honey, or agave nectar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 small fennel bulb (about ¾ pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from a small lemon
3 or 4 oranges
About 6 ounces feta or ricotta salata, in tiny dice
Black pepper to taste