FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD (Insalata di Finocchio e Arancia Sanguina)

Blood oranges are very much in vogue. A few years ago I could only buy them from a couple of stalls at the Queen Victoria Market but now they appear to be quite common.

Fennel bulbs have also become less exotic and this vegetable and above fruit combined make a great salad; both this vegetable and citrus fruit have been around for a very long time in Sicily.
I am not shy about presenting a salad as a side for a hot or cold main, but I always provide each guest with a separate plate for this contorno.
INGREDIENTS
fennel bulbs, 2 medium-sized (400- 500g approx.)
extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup 
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
blood oranges, 2-3
parsley, ½ cup finely cut  
PROCESSES
Remove any outer layers of the fennel which look damaged, trim the base and top and discard.  Keep any young, soft fennel fronds to add to the salad. Slice the fennel bulbs in half vertically and then continue to cut the fennels into thin slices.
Cut off the peel and pith of the oranges (use a sharp knife) then slice the orange crosswise into thin slices.
Combine the oranges with the fennel.
Mix olive oil, salt and pepper in a container and dress the salad.

Although fennel bulbs may look similar in shape there are two differently shaped bulbs and each is identified by its sex – the round are known as the maschi (the male fennel) and the slightly flattened shapes are the femmine (females).
See post : Fennel – Male and female shapes

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