This refreshing, crunchy, utterly addictive salad calls for you to supreme an orange, a French technique for separating citrus from its pith. It's easy! I'll guide you through it below.
I like to use Castelvetrano olives in this salad but Nicoise or Kalamata are great as well.
1/2-1 fennel bulb (half of a large one should be enough for two)
6 pitted olives
fennel fronds, optional
Supreme your oranges by slicing off a half-inch from its top and bottom. Place one of the cut sides down on a cutting board. Starting at the top of the orange, follow the curve of the fruit with your knife, cutting off the peel and white pith. Do this over the whole orange until all of the rind and pith are removed. If you have a little bit of white pith left on the outside of the orange, go back and clean it off with your knife.
Once all the pith is removed, you’ll see the membranes between each orange wedge. Holding the fruit in one hand, cut between the membranes to release the segments. It's helpful to do this over a bowl to collect all the juice that will run off. When you are done with the whole orange, squeeze the membrane that remains in your hand into the bowl to collect all the extra juice.
Whisk your juice with a pinch of salt and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Taste it. Does it need a little more acid? Add a teaspoon of champagne or sherry vinegar. Don't have any? Add some lemon. Taste it again. Does it taste delicious? Add anything else you think it might need—a bit more salt, a bit more oil, and set aside.
Pit your olives if they have pits. You can do this easily by pressing down on them with the flat side of your chef's knife. If you are using a Kalamata or Castelvetrano olive, tear them in half. I like to use my fingers here for a bit more texture.
Cut the stalks off of your fennel. If your fennel comes with green, whispy fronds (not all do) reserve them for garnishing the salad. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, very carefully shave the fennel. If you don't have a mandoline you can use a sharp knife, but you'll want to keep your fennel slices as thin as possible.
Toss the fennel with your dressing in a salad bowl and top the salad with all your goodies— olives, oranges, and, if you have it, a bit of chopped fennel fronds. You can also sprinkle a little Maldon salt to finish.
If you have extra orange supremes they are great in yogurt or as a dessert garnish.