Manchego, Fennel, Orange, Walnut Salad

Manchego, Fennel, Orange, Walnut Salad

I love cheese and I love Sherry and this salad using Spain’s wonderfully nutty sheep’s milk cheese, Manchego, and delicious Sherry vinegar, is an ideal match for an ice cold glass of Sherry, such as Equipo Navazos La Bota 35. Manchego, fennel & orange salad is one of my favourite dishes for summer entertaining – it’s a little different, but quick and easy – and there’s never any left over. The trickiest part is segmenting the oranges, and you can see how easy that is in the video below. Serve it as a first course or as a side dish for a barbecue. Salud!

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 heads baby fennel
  • 150g Manchego
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30ml Sherry vinegar
  • 30ml orange juice (reserved from segmenting oranges)
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2½ cups (100g) frisée or baby endive lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup (60g) coarsely chopped walnuts
Method
  1. Using a sharp knife cut the top and bottom off the oranges to reveal the flesh, stand them upright and cut down the sides to remove all skin and white pith. Holding a peeled orange in your hand over a bowl, cut down either side of each of the membranes to remove the segments. Drop them into the bowl and, when they are all removed, squeeze the remaining membrane over the bowl to collect the juice. Repeat with remaining orange.
  2. Discard the outer segments of the fennel and shave the rest finely with a sharp knife or Japanese mandolin.
  3. Shave the cheese into long thin slivers with a potato peeler or Japanese mandolin.
  4. Place oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper in a screw top jar and shake well to combine.
  5. Place lettuce and fennel in a bowl, toss with enough dressing to coat well, you may not need it all.
  6. Arrange cheese slices on a serving platter or individual plates, top with salad then orange segments and walnut pieces and serve.

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