Serves: 6 (as a side)
Chef and cookery teacher Gemma Wade was invited by Jeany and Stephen Cronk to Cotignac in Provence, where the ex-pat British couple make Mirabeau wines. The challenge was to create an Easter feast using ingredients from the town’s Tuesday market to go alongside the wines that Mirabeau produce there. Having prepared Provençal stuffed courgette flowers as an amuse-bouche, Gemma chose to serve cod with a tapenade crust and rosé-braised fennel for mains and roast radish and asparagus with lemon and cheese crumbs. Gemma serves the cod with her delicious new potatoes with salsa verde butter and here she rustles up a fresh and fragrant orange, fennel, olive and caper salad to go alongside.
This easy salad brings zing and brightness to the table. The salt of the olives and capers balances the sweetness of the orange. This should really be made no earlier than 30 minutes before eating. If you want to get ahead, you can segment the orange earlier in the day and leave it sitting in the lemon juice.
2 bulbs of fennel
1 blood or regular orange
2 tablespoons capers
Around 10 stone-in Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1Zest the orange into a bowl then use a serrated knife to cut both ends off an orange then sit the orange on one of the flat ends and cut down, following the curve of the orange with the knife to remove the skin and any white membrane. Once peeled, hold the orange in your hand over the bowl of zest and use the knife to carefully cut in between the lines that separate the segment. This will mean you leave the membranes attached at the core and the segments will drop out. Drop the segments into the bowl then squeeze any juice from the core into the bowl.
2Cut the fennel in half from root to tip. Chopping off any tough bits at the end of the stalks then cut each half into very thin slices cutting across in parallel to the root. Discard the root and put the slices in the bowl with the orange.
3Zest and juice half of the lemon into the fennel and orange then add the capers and olive oil and toss together. Taste and add salt and more lemon as needed.
4Use the side of a knife to squish the olives then rip them to remove the stones. Discard the stones and rip each olive into roughly 4 pieces.
5To serve, lay the dressed orange and fennel on a platter, scoop the capers and juice over then scatter the olives on top. Finely slice the chives and scatter over the finished platter. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, salt and lemon as needed.