fennel and orange salad
pomegranate, sumac, thyme
by priti malhotra
Priti learned to cook under the tutelage of her mother, an excellent cook, who was ahead of her times, experimenting with recipes and ingredients that were not staple in Indian kitchens at that time. For example, she made taco shells from scratch, when very few around knew what a “taco” was. Priti, through osmosis, absorbed her passion for creativity and stellar food presentation.
Now, Priti creates easy to follow, non-fussy, vegetarian and plant based recipes, melding the traditional with the new. She is always on a look out to try new ingredients, oils, spices, and to create something different, adapt and merge together food from different cultures. When she entertains friends, she likes to display, on her kitchen island, attractive bite-sized foods that go well with wine. Priti also enjoys exploring off-the-grid bars, wineries, coffee shops and restaurants and soak in everything that her beautiful town and state has to offer.
A palette cleanser, classic combination of crisp, licorice and citrus, served in between the warm and cheesy mains.
For the salad
1 bulb fennel thinly sliced (pref. with a mandoline slicer)
1 navel orange, flesh sections sliced thin
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
A few fennel fronds
1 spring thyme
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard
1 teaspoon orange muscat champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sumac
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1 sprig thyme, leaves removed
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a shallow bowl and set aside.
With a mandoline, or a sharp knife, thinly slice the fennel bulb. Peel the oranges, and use a paring knife to cut the orange flesh into lengthwise sections. In a large bowl, take the fennel slices, pour the dressing on them, and mix well so that all the fennel is well coated. Now add the orange slices, and toss gently. Plate the salad in individual bowls, and garnish with pomegranate arils, thyme leaves and fennel fronds.