Fennel, Orange and Almond Salad with Baby Spinach and Orange Vinaigrette

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I love my street. We have the greatest friends and neighbors ever and every so often we close the road and have a block party. This past weekend was our Third Annual Oktoberfest. So much fun. And as with any memorable gathering of good people, for me at least, it was centered around delicious food and drink. Which brings me to the healthy salad you see above – my lunch on Monday after a foodie fest over the weekend (recipes from the party coming soon!).

Fennel is a bulb with a great crunch, similar to jicama, and a slightly licorice flavor. It pairs so well with sweet oranges (I used what I had – mandarins)  and tangy red onion. This was a perfect lunch.

Orange Vinaigrette:

2 tbs. fresh orange juice

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 tbs. honey

1 clove garlic minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid tightly and shake well to incorporate.

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For the salad:

a couple handfuls of baby spinach

a small orange, peeled (supremed  if you feel up to it, but not necessary)

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To supreme an orange you need a sharp knife. Peel the orange and cut out the orange sections just inside the line of their slices to remove the skin of each slice.

This was a small mandarin so the slices were just bite sized, but if you use a naval orange just cut the slices into bite sized pieces.

fennel thinly sliced

IMG_2090Slice the bottom off of the bulb. Remove the outter layers. Peel off a layer and thinly slice the white part only. Pick off some of the fronds from the tip – they are nice and fresh and make a great garnish for the salad.

red onion thinly sliced

IMG_2093Cut the red onion in half lengthwise from root to stem. Peel and place cut side down on cutting board. Slice across the width of the onion as shown above.

sliced almonds to garnish

Place spinach, oranges, fennel and red onion in a bowl. Add a light pour of the orange vinaigrette. Toss, plate and serve with the fennel fronds and almonds on top.

Enjoy!

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