Satsuma, pomegranate, fennel and chicory salad with feta

Satsuma, pomegranate, fennel and chicory salad with feta

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
4
Photographer
Patricia Niven

Pomegranates and satsumas come into season around the same time in late autumn and make very good partners, with their different notes of sharp and sweet. This salad is ideal for the crisp and cold evenings we get at this time of year, especially when eaten with some warm flatbread or pitta bread to mop up all the juices. It would also make a lovely starter before a rich main course.

My greatest friend, Imogen, tells me her mum would keep her and her sisters quiet as children by giving them a quarter of a pomegranate and a pin each and leaving them to pick out the seeds individually and eat them, resulting in hours of concentration for the kids – and hours of peace for their mum!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 satsumas
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1 large pomegranate
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs
200g feta
3 heads chicory, leaves separated
small bunch chives, finely chopped
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Peel the satsumas with a knife to get rid of all the pith, then cut into slices about 3 mm thick. Put the satsuma slices, along with any juices, into a large bowl with the onion and a pinch of salt. Mix well, then leave to soften down while you tackle the pomegranate.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half, then cut one half in half again. Squeeze the juice from the two quarters through a sieve into a bowl – you may need to do a bit of prodding with a fork to get the pomegranate to release its juice. This should reward you with about 4 tablespoons of pomegranate juice. Add the red wine vinegar and honey to the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to incorporate into the dressing.
  3. Take the other half of the pomegranate, place it cut-side down on a board and tap it with a rolling pin to dislodge the seeds. Remove any white membrane from the seeds, then add them to the bowl with the satsumas and onion. Trim the fennel, keeping any fronds, then slice very finely and add to the bowl. Chop the reserved fennel fronds and add these too. Now crumble in the feta and gently toss all the ingredients together.
  4. Put the chicory leaves and chives in another bowl, season lightly and dress with some of the pomegranate dressing. Arrange the chicory leaves on four plates, then scatter the rest of the salad over the top, finishing with some extra dressing.
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