Fennel, Dandelion and Apple Salad w/Orange Vinaigrette

The other day I did a TV shoot with the City of Torrance, CA for their Community Cooking program.  I will let you know when my segments get posted but you can check out others here: (http://www.torranceca.gov/CableTV/2464.htm).  This is tons of fun for me and I’m always trying to come up with recipes that I can use to talk about this lifestyle as well as incorporate some great flavors and talk about how things can be interchanged with some the wild edibles I talk about.  This recipe is one of those.  Wild Fennel and Dandelion Greens are pretty abundant in Southern California (and those dandelions are EVERYWHERE!), and the fresh herbs in this recipe (mint and chives) are also easily come by.  Of course, if you can’t find the wild ones, you can always get these at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store.  I’ve switched out the dandelions for arugula as well – another favorite of mine.  This recipe is so easy to make and the dressing makes enough for use another time.  I hope you enjoy this one – it’s my latest favorite!

Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 c white wine vinegar
  • 4 dried apricots, soaked for 3-4 hours in water
  • ¼ c mandarin orange segments
  • 2 T chives
  • 2 T mint
  • 2 T orange zest
  • ¼ avocado
  • Ground Black Pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Fennel, Apple and Arugula Salad

  • 2-3 fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin
  • 2 large handfuls wild arugula (or dandelion greens, or other ‘spicy’ green)
  • 2 apples (or pears), chopped in small cubes (set aside a few pieces for garnish)
  • Sprouts
  • Handful of toasted pecans
  • Orange zest (or garnish)
  • Drizzle of mandarin vinaigrette (see recipe)

Mix fennel, arugula and apples together in a large bowl.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and lightly toss.  Garnish with sprouts, a few apple slices, pecans and some orange zest.  Serve immediately.