|For the salad|
|1 ⅜ oz||Almonds|
|2||Oranges, raw, without peel|
|For the dressing|
|2 tbsp||Balsamic vingear|
|10 ml||Lemon juice|
|2 tsp||Agave syrup|
|1 dash||Black pepper|
|1 ½ tbsp||Canola oil|
For the salad
Trim the hard hollow stalks off just above the bulb. If the fennel bulb is no longer very fresh, remove the outer skin. Trim off the root end of the fennel bulb and then stand up on this end and cut vertically into thin slices.
Chop the almonds and place them in a bowl with the fennel.
You can chop the almonds using a standard kitchen appliance such as a food processor or an (electric) coffee grinder. If you don’t have this option, you can also place the almonds on a hard surface and crush them using a hard object (e.g., a hammer) or buy ground almonds as described under “Alternative preparation.” If you are crushing the almonds manually, it works best to wrap them in plastic wrap and work carefully so that you don’t end up having to gather small pieces off the floor.
Cut off a thin slice of peel from the top and bottom of the orange. Then stand the orange up on one end and use a sharp knife to cut off the peel and white layer in one continuous motion. To do this, rotate the orange along its axis and cut from the top moving down.
Halve and dice the orange and then add along with the juice to the fennel and chopped almonds in the bowl.
For the dressing
Mix the vinegar, salt, lemon juice, agave syrup, and pepper well and then whisk everything together with the oil using a fork.
In the original recipe, the author Ilja Lauber uses stevia in liquid form (2 measuring spoons). This is equal to about 20 g of white sugar and comparable to the sweetness of about 15 g of agave syrup. You can, of course, adjust the degree of sweetness to your needs, but as with salt, sugar is also a health issue and less is more.
Toss the lettuce with the dressing, mixing well, and if possible place in the refrigerator for a while and let the flavors meld. Then serve the Orange Fennel Salad as a side dish or appetizer.
Stevia as a sweetener: If you decide to use stevia as is listed in the original recipe and described in the section “Alternative preparation,” you can use the following as a rough guideline:
Just 1 g of dried stevia leaves is equal to about 15 g of sugar. That would be about the same as 5 cubes of sugar or a little bit less than 1¼ tbsp of granulated sugar. If you are using liquid stevia as the author does, 1 spoon is equal to about 10 g of granulated sugar. However, this value can range depending on the brand you are using. It is therefore best to first determine how sweet the stevia concentrate is in comparison to traditional household sugar before you make your purchase.
Buying stevia: Stevia or honey plant can be purchased in its most natural form as leaves at organic grocery stores.
Raw vegan food: If you want to make sure that this recipe is strictly "raw vegan food," it is important to make sure that you buy raw canola oil and balsamic vinegar. The same applies to the stevia used in the original recipe.
Recommendations by the author concerning vitamin C: “Vitamin C also improves the absorption of iron. An overdose of vitamin C is never an issue because vitamin C is water soluble and any excess that is taken in is simply excreted. Since both oranges and fennel are rich in vitamin C, a serving of this salad contains 70% of the average daily requirement of an adult for this vitamin.”
Tip from the author: “Serve this sweet and sour salad as a side for protein-rich dishes such as peanut tofu” (recipe is in the same cookbook on p. 227).
Reducing salt and sugar: If you want to reduce the salt and sugar content of this recipe, you can use a smaller amount of agave syrup and substitute balsamic vinegar for the salt. In general, you can reduce both of these simply by using less dressing.
Sweeteners: As in the original recipe, you can use stevia instead of agave syrup. We recommend naturally dried leaves if fresh stevia is not available. Simply rub them gently together and use as a sweetener — this is a common practice in many Asian countries. Depending on the desired consistency of the dressing, liquid stevia may be a better choice than leaves. Another alternative is to use high-quality maple syrup.
Quicker variation: If you want to speed up the preparation of this recipe, you can use ground almonds. However, these are usually not quite as flavorful as freshly ground almonds since storage and processing conditions can lead to a decrease in quality.