With this lovely weather, I am now embracing the summer of fresh and filling salads. I received some fennel in my weekly vegetable box and had some other bits and bobs left that I thought would make a great combo.
One thing that I wish I could change though is the type of rice. I only had Arborio rice (otherwise known as risotto rice), so that is what had to do the trick and it was still delicious. I’d recommend using brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, couscous or any other grain rocking your boat.
What you need
For 2 people
- 2 portions of grains of your liking as mentioned above
- 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 1 orange
- 60g rucola salad
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup mixed with 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
- pumpkin seeds, if you fancy
Here’s how you make it
- Start boiling your rice (or any other grain of your choice) and add the crushed fennel.
- Cut the fennel into strips and steam them for 4 minutes (keep the leafy bit for the dressing and salad topping).
- Once the fennel is steamed, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and fry the fennel on a medium heat until it starts browning.
- Add the maple syrup and water mixture to caramelise the fennel. Leave it until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
- Cut the orange in half, peel one half and cut it into small pieces and add it to a salad bowl.
- Cut the cucumber into small cubes and add it to the bowl together with the rucola salad.
- In a glass or small bowl, squeeze the juice of the other half of the orange for the dressing.
- Add a tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, the fluffy bit from the fennel and salt and pepper to the freshly squeezed orange juice and stir everything together.
- Let the rice cool down a little before mixing it in with the ingredients in the salad bowl and then add the dressing.
- Serve it on a plate and place the caramelised fennel on top.
- If you’ve got any seeds available (I used pumpkin seeds), toast them and then sprinkle them on top.
Last important step, find a sunny spot and enjoy!