Roasted Fennel and Cara Cara Salad
Citrus-y. Licorice-y. Caramelize-y.
I planned on posting this a week or so ago but kept waiting to give the pre-cooked ingredients a photo shoot. Alas, time passed and I didn't buy more fresh fennel so no photos of the beautiful cara cara and fennel.
1 medium fennel bulb
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt
1 cara cara
Preheat oven to 425F. Halve the fennel bulb, slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. On baking sheet, toss fennel with olive oil and season with sea salt. Roast, turning once, until browned, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, section out cara cara orange segments over a bowl to save the juices for pouring over compiled dish later. Eat the "membranes," don't toss! When fennel is done roasting, evenly plate on two plates over cara cara segments and pour remaining juice on top. Serve warm or cold.
There are two main types of fennel. Florence fennel, also referred to as finocchio (what I used), has a broad, bulbous base that's treated like a vegetable and eaten raw or cooked in a variety of methods. The fragrant greenery can be used as a garnish or snipped like fill and used as a flavor-enhancer at the end of preparing a dish. Its flavor is sweeter and more delicate than anise when eaten raw and becomes lighter when cooked. The other type of fennel is bulbless. It's referred to as "common fennel" and is the variety from which fennel seeds come. It is used in sweet and savory foods as well as liqueurs.*
The Cara Cara is a variety of navel orange with a reddish pink flesh.* Its flavor has hints of strawberries and raspberries. Ours are from our in-laws' garden.
* Food Lover's Companion. Fourth edition.