Arugula & Fennel Salad with Oranges and Dry Cured Olives

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This simple salad celebrates the best of the Mediterranean winter season and is the perfect way to end a dinner.  (In our house, we always serve salad after the entree and before the dessert course).  It is so easy but the combination of the sweetness of the oranges, the saltiness of the olives, and the bitterness of the arugula simultaneously please all of the taste buds.

I serve the salad with a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with just a touch of salt and pepper.  Because there are only four ingredients, be sure to use a good quality olive oil and vinegar.  Too many balsamic vinegars are heavy on the acid and light on the sweetness so taste test it before offering it to your guests.  The dressing is also served on the side, guests can add as much or as little as they like.

ARUGULA & FENNEL SALAD w/ ORANGES & DRY CURED OLIVES

For the salad:

4 cups arugula, washed, dried, and broken into bit sized pieces

1 large fennel bulb, sliced thinly

1 orange, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup dry cured olives

  • Divide the arugula evenly between four plates forming a compact bed of leaves.
  • Distribute the fennel, oranges, and olives over the top of the arugula.

For the dressing:

1/3 cup good quality olive oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt & freshly ground pepper

  • Divide the olive oil between four small dishes or dressing cups.
  • Place one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar into each cup on top of the oil.
  • Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to each cup.
  • Nestle the dressing cups onto the salad plates and serve.

Serves 4

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