Making the Most of Winter Produce
It’s about that time of winter when you’re past the holidays, the fun of snow may have worn off, and you’re cold. At least, I’m cold. Enter citrus and fennel. The crunch of crisp fennel and the cheeriness of bright, sweet oranges cheers me up on any cold, wintry day. I love to pair it with a creamy avocado and cilantro dressing. This hearty salad could be a light meal or a complement to dinner. Get the recipe below, and share with me in the comments what keeps you going on winter days.
Get Out of the Salad Rut
What would you define as your salat rut? For me, my go to salad is lettuce, cucumber, celery, carrots, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. I change it up with different types of meat, hard boiled eggs, and/or cheese. And it tastes great. But…sometimes I get tired of it.
Enter this salad. It is almost celebratory in the colors, flavors, and special creamy dressing. It cheers me up and it tastes wonderful. And, it’s super healthy.
Health Benefits of this Fennel Citrus Salad
When you think of the health benefits of oranges, the first thing that comes to mind is probably vitamin C. And it’s true – they are packed with this vital nutrient that is especially important in the winter months. But they are also a good source of water, fiber, and antioxidants. Sign me up.
Fennel is rich in micronutrients such magnesium, manganese, and calcium. It is also high in antioxidants and may benefit heart health. Fennel also has estrogenic properties, which means it acts similar to estrogen in women. This can help relieve symptoms in menopausal women.
And Let’s Talk About the Dressing
I’m in love with this creamy cilantro dressing, not just for this salad, but also to use as a dip, a sandwich spread, and a mix-in for tuna salad. There are probably more uses for it that I haven’t discovered yet, but it is so, so good.
The dressing consists of a whole bunch of cilantro, one avocado, some garlic, lime, and either coconut milk, heavy cream, or Greek yogurt. It comes together quickly and keeps for about five days in the fridge.
What to Pair With this Citrus Fennel Salad
- Fermented Sourdough Rolls with Seeds: Some simple rolls would accompany this salad nicely. Pop some tuna fish or chicken salad in the middle to add extra protein.
- Easy Italian Beef Burgers: I love a good salad with a side of beef. These burgers would pair well with the Fennel Citrus Salad. You could even make mini burgers and use the above recipe (Fermented Sourdough Rolls with Seeds) for the buns.
- Batch Cooked Salmon Patties: Make it a fish night, and make it thrifty by using canned salmon. These Batch Cooked Salmon Patties will make enough for dinner tonight and leftovers to freeze for a future meal.
Thanks for reading, my friends. Tell me in the comments below what keeps you going in the winter.
See you next time,
Fennel Citrus Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing
- Blender or food processor
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 2 naval or blood oranges
- 2 large handfuls salad greens
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 ripe avocados divided
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 limes juiced, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, Greek yogurt, or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- Wash and trim the stalks off the fennel bulb. Save the fronds to garnish the salad. Slice off the tough end of the fennel, then cut the bulb in half. Thinly slice each half. Set aside.
- Peel and section the oranges. If you're feeling fancy, remove the skin from each orange segment. Slice each segment in half.
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Save one avocado for the dressing. Slice the other, tossing the avocado pieces in lime juice to prevent browning.
- Thinly slice the red onion. Spread the salad greens on a large tray and arrange the fennel, oranges, and avocado on top. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining avocado, cilantro, garlic, salt, remaining lime juice, and cream in a food processor or blender. Drizzle in water with machine running. Add more water as needed to thin the dressing.
- Serve dressing on the side, or pour over top. Garnish with fennel fronds. You will likely have some extra dressing.