Moderation, an Athlete Food tenant, hasn’t had a great holiday season here in my house. I’ve snatched countless pieces of Hanukkah gelt from my kids’ stashes, indulged in many handfuls of holiday M&Ms, and hoarded the gift bags of chocolate-dipped pretzels that all of my favorite people seem to make. Sunday morning my son convinced me to make donuts! We ended up with 24, plus holes.
Looking to make amends for my holiday snacking, I hit Nashville’s excellent Whole Foods, and studied the produce wall. Kale seemed like the obvious health-kick choice. But I needed more than kale to woo me away from the big jar of blue and white M&Ms in the pantry. I opted for ingredients that would look festive but taste refreshing: big fennel bulbs from California, lively parsley bunches, and organic oranges.
At home I took a large fennel bulb, chopped off a few handfuls-worth of the peppier fronds, and shaved the bulb on my ceramic vegetable peeler. I cut most of the stems off of a bunch of parsley, chopped up the little stems and leaves. Then I sectioned an orange, tossed all of this, plus some dill I had in the freezer, and served it under roasted salmon one night, a grocery store rotisserie chicken the next, and on Friday night, this salad did a nice job moderating the richness of latkes. —Melissa
Fennel, Parsley, and Orange Salad
Serves: 4 as a side or appetizer, or 2 as a meal-sized salad (with salmon, chicken, or steak)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large fennel bulb (or two small), fronds attached
1 teaspoon chopped dill
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Add the chopped parsley to a mixing bowl. Cut the fronds off the fennel bulb, reserving a few handfuls of the fronds that are the least limp. Chop the fronds, and add them to the bowl.
Shave the fennel bulb on a ceramic vegetable peeler, if you have one, or slice finely with a sharp knife. Add the fennel to the bowl.
Section an orange this way, and add it to the bowl, along with the dill, sea salt, and one grind of black pepper. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad, 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for the whole thing.
Make ahead: If the ingredients are thoroughly dried, the tossed vegetables and herbs will keep, undressed, in the fridge for two or three days.