You’ll need to spend some time preparing all the various loving touches that make this summer salad so special. Is it worth it? No question! This is my favourite summer lunch. Served with some whole grain bread, it's a tasty summer entrée. And the fruit will make dessert the farthest thing from your mind.
Make 4 servings
Preparation time: about 20 minutes.
NOTE: The amounts are all approximate and flexible. This is a very improvisational recipe.
1 small head organic butter (Boston) lettuce, cleaned and spun dry
1 medium-sized bulb organic fennel, sliced paper thin (a mandolin works best.)
2 organic navel oranges, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
15 oil-cured or Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
5 or 6 organic dried figs, cut into small pieces
1 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon organic lemon juice, plus more to taste if you like
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds, lightly toasted (optional)
A small piece of hard cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Asiago), shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler (optional)
1. Wash and dry the lettuce, then tear it into bite sized pieces into a large salad bowl. Add the fennel, oranges, olives, and figs, and toss.
2. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil, and toss until everything is lightly but thoroughly coated. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if you like, and toss again. Refrigerate until serving (but not longer than about 1 hour).
3. Just before serving drizzle in about 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and sprinkle in — or top with —the almonds and cheese shavings, if you like. Toss quickly but thoroughly, and serve right away.