This fresh, crisp salad with its subtle aniseed flavour adds exciting variety to any dinner table next to a hearty roast and mashed potatoes. Make sure to shop for crisp, firm bulbs of fennel with no brown patches and fresh, bright green fronds. This is particularly important when vegetables are served raw, as is the case with this salad. Also wash the fennel bulbs thoroughly, as sand and grit often accumulates between the leaves.
Wash the fennel bulbs, pat dry and quarter. Trim off the stalks and cut out the hard bases in wedges. Pick off the fronds and set them aside. Use a sharp knife to slice the fennel as thinly as possible. Transfer the slices to a bowl, combine with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Peel the onion, slice thinly into rings and set aside.
Cut the tops and bottoms off 3 oranges. Use a sharp knife to peel and fillet the oranges, catching and reserving the juice in a small saucepan. Set the orange fillets aside. Squeeze the remaining orange and add the juice to the saucepan. Add the star anise and bring the juice to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce by half, then stir in the maple syrup.
Drain the fennel over a sieve and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Return the fennel to the bowl, marinate with olive oil and the reduced orange juice and combine with the onion rings, orange fillets and raisins. Divide among plates and garnish with the fennel fronds before serving.
© 2017 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.