Friday, 20 January 2012

Roasted fennel, pomegranate, orange and avocado salad

Busy, busy, busy. I am attempting to transition from my lab at UBC where I did all the research for my PhD to my new headquarters at the BCCDC. I have promised my time and services to my former supervisor until April but have also agreed to start some part time work with my new employer. I am trying to be discrete in my attempt to do two jobs at once but it is turning out to be more difficult then I had hoped. Especially since I am having a hard time doing any work at all...

Moving on. I have had an enormous appetite the past few days. I am not sure but I think it has something to do with my body rebelling against my attempt to eat less food and more healthily. I made today's recipe to go with some paneer curries and rice because I wanted some vegetables in my meal. 

I am still managing to stay seasonal with this recipe but unfortunately not local. In fact, I am suffering form extreme citrus envy right now; check out the beautiful Citrus Salts made by Heidi Swanson in San Fransisco. Also, drool over the marmalade crostata on the Desserts for Breakfast blog (in Berkeley) and these breathtaking (as usual) pictures on the Canelle et Vanille blog taken at a Florida Citrus grove.

Fennel is also wonderfully in season right now. Have you ever had roasted fennel before? It is so so so delicious. You don't even need all the other stuff I have in this recipe, but I had a pomegranate and an avocado that I bought 2 weeks ago, in the fridge. These suckers needed to get used. Fortunately these simple ingredients tasted incredible together. 
As for pomegranates, you never know when you pick one up what lies inside. On this occasion I hit the jackpot. Look at those juicy, plump, ruby red seeds!

Roasted fennel, pomegranate, orange and avocado salad
Winter seasonal: pomegranate, orange and fennel 
My only warning for this recipe: take the fennel out of the oven while it is still moist, don't let it dry out or it will get chewy and tough. If you want to make this dish more filling I am sure it would go nicely with some quinoa or couscous, maybe tossed in some lemon juice and olive oil.

2 fennel heads, defronded
1 pomegranate
2 small navel oranges
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt

1 - Preheat oven to 300F.
2 - Slice fennel heads into large slices about 1/4" thick (I used a mandoline at the thickest setting).
3 - Brush both sides of fennel with olive oil and place on a baking sheet, season with sea salt.
4 - Wrap garlic cloves, unpeeled, in tinfoil.
5 - Place garlic and baking sheet with fennel in oven.
6 - Roast fennel about 10 - 15 minutes per side (until lightly browned), turn and roast another 10 minutes.
7 - Meanwhile, cut pomegranate in half (not from stem to stem but through the other way). Scoop out seeds into a bowl, squeezing the cut half a couple of times to get some juice into bowl.
8 - Cut orange segments into a bowl, squeeze some orange juice from left over scraps into bowl.
9 - Remove fennel and garlic from oven.
10 - When garlic is cool use a garlic press to squeeze the softened flesh into bowl with fruit; whisk into the fruit and juice.
11 - Arrange fennel and avocado on a plate and top with orange and pomegranate mix.


  1. My favourite winter salad by far. Try it with cara cara or blood orange - so good!