After the previous way too long, snowy and icy winters, this German winter has been surprisingly mild. In my region we haven’t even seen any snow yet. I have never been a big fan of the winter season. Given alone the fact to be dressed with all those clothes..coat, scarf, gloves.. Plus the lack of light and short days..
So yesterday while reading the title of a newspaper article, a smile covered my face :) Meteorologists say, that this is it with this year’s winter. That put me into an immediate spring mood! I love the spring season! I love the smell of it, its colors, the birds’ twittering and the additional daylight that comes hand in hand with longer days. All this beauty makes me – almost – forget about my allergies that are about to kick in :)
This recipe is the perfect link between these two seasons. Amazingly fresh and nutritious ingredients that perfectly represent the winter season, with light colors that remind me of spring. The combination of oranges and fennel is an enormous boost of vitamin C! I know this might not be enough to persuade those of you who (think they) don’t like fennel. But trust me, you should give it a try! If you relate it to the taste of a fennel tea, anise or liquorice, which are all quite strong and not everyone’s favorite (mine either, btw..) trust me, they have very little in common. It tastes so mild, you might be surprised!
In Italy we eat raw fennel almost daily in the winter. It is served after the meals with its digestive characteristics that come in handy. Especially after big meals.
Actually this recipe goes perfectly well with raw fennel, too. No matter which version you pick, it will blend so well with oranges and olive oil! After all that fennel talk, I didn’t mean to neglect the oranges in any way ;) But as we already love and know them so well, they don’t need any further introduction, right? ;)
1 medium-sized orange
1 small fennel
1tbsp of fresh lemon juice
(extra virgin) olive oil
a pinch of salt and pepper
a few fresh mint leaves
* * * * *
Preheat the oven at 200°C / 356°F.
Trim off the stalks and the bottom of the fennel. If there are any brown spots on the outer leaves, remove them by peeling the leaves gently with a sharp knife. Then cut the fennel into quarters and wash under running water.
Take each quarter and cut into thin slices.
Lay the slices next to each other in a casserole dish or on a baking pan (previously covered with baking paper). Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15-20min, until golden-brown.
In the meantime peel the orange, while cutting off the white membrane as well. Then cut into slices between the membrane and the pulp. While doing this, make sure that you catch the juice (that we will need later on).
Place the orange slices into a bowl, including its juice. Add the roasted (alternatively raw) fennel slices and lemon juice.
Finally sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and mint leaves.
Prep Time: 30 min