Have you tasted the power pairing of fig and fennel? We’ve got more ideas of what to make with these two ingredients but a great place to start would be in a fig fennel salad. The details make this fennel salad recipe.
Oranges Three Ways
Using orange juice brings sweetness but also a bit of acid to the dressing. It’s also used to rehydrate the figs and thus get the orange flavor deep into the figs. Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice California Dried Figs naturally pair with citrus and we especially like our Mission Figs in this salad, though you could use Golden Figs.
Then, the oranges are also used in two other ways: orange zest mixed into the fig and fennel salad greens. Finally, the orange is supremed, which means the segments are trimmed from the pith and membranes. It’s easy to supreme an orange, but does require a little bit of practice. Cut the peel and the white pith from the oranges. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes with a small sharp knife to release the orange segments.
Other Ways to Cook with Fennel and Figs
Fennel might be an ingredient you use often or one that you overlook. We are here to say that it adds beautiful crunch to this fig and fennel salad with a subtle anise flavor. Using the fennel seeds adds additional anise and pop. The recipe also calls for reserving the fennel fronds to use fennel three different ways too.
Other ways to use it with figs would be sauteed for a simple side of quick caramelized onions, fennel and figs. Try this combo as a condiment of fennel-apple chutney with figs. Use them in a slow-cooked main dish of braised whole chicken with figs and fennel. Bring it at brunch with a crustless fennel quiche of figs and Parmesan.
Mixed Greens Fennel Salad & Orange Fig Salad Dressing
- 8 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs 12 to 14 figs, stems trimmed
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed with a mortar and pestle or the side of a heavy knife
- 1 fennel bulb about 12 ounces
- 2 large seedless oranges
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 6 cups mixed baby greens
- 2 paper-thin slices red onion separated into rings
- Combine the figs, orange juice, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan and heat to a boil. Cook, covered, over low heat until the figs are soft and the juice is reduced to 2 tablespoons, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. This step can be done 1 or 2 days before serving.
- Cut the fennel in half lengthwise; place the halves cut side down, and slice into thin half-circles. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the fernlike fronds and reserve them. Place the fennel slices in a bowl of iced water and let stand for at least 20 minutes. Then drain and blot dry.
- Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, and set it aside. Cut the peel and the white pith from the oranges. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes with a small sharp knife to release the segments.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the fresh orange juice (reserve the remainder for another usand the 2 tablespoons reserved fig juices with the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, a grinding of pepper, and the reserved grated zest; whisk to blend.
- Gently toss the orange segments, minced onion, and reserved fennel fronds together in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the dressing and set aside.
- Add the salad greens and the fennel slices to the dressing and toss to coat.
- Divide the salad among 4 salad plates. Spoon the orange and onion mixture over the salad greens. Halve the figs and distribute them evenly among the plates. Garnish with the onion rings, and serve.