They say you eat first with your eyes, which is possibly why I find this blood orange, fennel, watercress and feta salad so tempting. Just look at all those vibrant colours scattered around the plate. I’m not really sure where I first got the idea for this, but I Googled around before making it to check this wasn’t a completely mad combination of ingredients. It wasn’t, and the result really does taste as good as it looks. Crunchy aniseed fennel, sharp, sweet juicy blood orange, peppery watercress and salty creamy feta. I had this for lunch two days in a row and will be doing so many more times while the blood oranges are still in season.
Blood Orange, Fennel, Watercress and Feta Salad
Serves 1 for lunch provided you’re as greedy as me
- 1 blood orange (If doubling to serve 2 you could probably still just use 1 orange, I just didn’t want to leave half)
- 1/4 blub fennel, plus a few fennel fronds if still attached
- A handful of watercress
- 1/4 block feta
- 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground pepper
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the peel off the orange on all sides (does an orange have sides?), making sure you get all the white pith off too. Slice the peeled orange into fairly thin slices and set aside. Try to catch any juice that comes off as you do this, I sliced it on a plate to make sure I did. Very thinly slice the fennel, I don’t have a mandoline because I like my fingers but if you do have one you could use it here, I just used a knife. Slice the feta into smallish cubes.
In a bowl whisk together the oil and any juice you reserved from cutting the orange, if you didn’t manage to save any just sacrifice one of the slices by squeezing the juice from that instead. Toss the watercress and the fennel in the dressing and place on a plate.
Arrange the orange slices on top and then crumble over the feta cubes. Drizzle over any remaining orange juice that may have collected where the slices were resting, scatter with fennel fronds and finish with ground pepper to taste. I didn’t add any salt because I’m not a big salt eater usually and I thought the feta would be enough, but you may want to add a sprinkling of that too.