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Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

This is the first recipe I have tried from The New Greenmarket Cookbook and I am in love. April Bloomfield is an absolute genius. Heat from the red pepper flakes, kick from orange segments, crunch from hazelnuts, creaminess from goat cheese, two delicious preparations of fennel....absolute perfection. I could not stop saying 'mmmm' when I ate this. Make this for your friends; it is a beauty!

(Recipe adapted from the New Greenmarket Cookbook) 

Ingredients

For the Citrus: 

2 Large navel oranges

1 Juiced lemon

2 Tsp. sea salt

1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Fennel: 

4 Large bulbs of fennel with tops

1/4 Cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. crushed dry pequin chile or red pepper flakes

1 lemon

For the Plate: 

5 Ounces creamy goats' cheese

4 Cups spicy market greens (fresh rocket, wild watercress, or baby mustard)

1 Small handful hazelnuts, toasted and lightly crushed

Sea salt to taste

Lemon totaste

Spicy olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F.

The Citrus: 

Zest, then 'supreme' both oranges. If you have never supremed an orange, see this quick tutorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjOEGQ18F-A

Set the core aside and place orange segments in the refrigerator.

Squeeze the juice from the core; this should give you ~1/4 cup juice. Mix juice, orange zest, lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil to form vinaigrette.

The Fennel:

Cut tops from fennel and reserve. Peel tough outer layer and bottom from bulbs. Cut 2 bulbs into 8 small wedges each. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and kosher salt. Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil in pan over medium high heat.  Add fennel wedges to pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and caramelized.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and add a few tbsp. of water. Cover pan and cook in oven until tender, ~20 minutes.

Quarter the other 2 fennel bulbs, and with a mandolin, shave into paper thin slices. Place slices in an ice bath.  Remove fronds from fennel top and add to ice bath.

To Finish the Salad:

Remove fennel slices and fronds from water and pat dry. Using a spoon, smear some of the goat cheese on the plate. In a bowl, toss orange, market greens, sliced fennel and roasted fennel with some of the vinaigrette. Season with salt, and lemon to taste. Place each portion atop goat cheese. Sprinkle with fresh hazelnuts and garnish with fennel fronds. Add a drizzle of spicy olive oil.

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