Fennel, a popular vegetable in Italy, is eaten raw in salads or cooked and served as a side dish. Raw fennel is crunchy like celery but has a sweet licorice flavor. This dish is Sicilian in origin and has the exotic, sweet flavors that are typical of the local cooking.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AGfoto]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AGfoto

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: None (1 hour for marinating)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 small fennel bulbs, stems discarded; bulbs halved, cored, and thinly sliced

3 oranges, peeled and sectioned

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

8 or 12 leaves of a colorful lettuce, such as red leaf

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the lettuce) and let the mixture marinate for 1 hour.

  2. Place 2 lettuce leaves on each salad plate and divide the salad over the top.