As Labor Day approaches like a greased watermelon on a Slide ‘N Slide, hold on to the summer by celebrating some of its best produce. This version of a traditional Sicilian orange salad is fruity and refreshing with crisp hints of anise – a perfect side dish for your end-of-season BBQ.
Sicilian Orange Salad with Figs and Fennel
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced very thin, fronds reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 cups ice water
3 navel oranges, peel and pith sliced off
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
3 to 4 small figs, stemmed and quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Place the fennel slices and minced red onion in the cold water and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. This helps the fennel to get very crispy and the onion to lose its raw flavor.
Slice the oranges into ¼-inch-thick pieces, exposing a sunburst of membranes on each. Arrange the orange slices on a platter and season with salt and pepper. Drain the water from the fennel and onion then sprinkle them over the oranges. Arrange the fig pieces on the oranges.
Whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar then drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle the fennel fronds over the top for a pop of color. Serve chilled or at room temperature.