Albinelli Winter Salad
Mercato Albinelli in Modena, Italy - a food market I can’t wait to return to.
I went there a couple of years ago to buy fresh pasta and ingredients for my birthday dinner and left with the delightful winter produce of radicchio and blood oranges. Perfect alongside our pasta dish, we tossed them together with the freshest, crunchiest rocket and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. Buonissimo!
I couldn't wait to replicate it back home and added some raw marinated fennel and a balsamic maple dressing.
Serves 4 to 6, side dish:
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Handful of rocket
- 1 small radicchio
- 1 - 2 blood oranges
- Salt & black pepper
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
First you want to marinate the fennel; after washing, chop off the stalks and carefully break the fronds and leave to one side. Cut the bum off of the bulb and stand the fennel upright. Slice in half and discard the outer layer, which should fall away by itself. Then using a mandoline if you have one, slice the fennel - the thickness is really up to you but I like it very thin or about half a centimetre thick. Place in a shallow bowl and add the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and massage the fennel until coated. Leave to sit for as long as you can wait...anywhere between 10 mins to 2 hours!
Meanwhile, prepare the radicchio by discarding the outer layers and peel away the leaves, tearing into whatever size and shape you prefer. Peel the blood orange and cut segments into small cubes, discarding the bitter pith as you go.
For the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt in a jar and shake well. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary and if you prefer it sweeter, just add a little more maple syrup (you can always substitute the maple syrup with honey).
Once the fennel is ready, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and drizzle over the balsamic maple dressing. Finish with the fennel fronds and shavings of Parmesan.