Sunday 8 January 2012

Edamame, fennel & orange salad and a huge Happy New Year!

Happy New Year beautiful people!  May 2012 bring you all success, happiness and deliciousness.

We've just come back from our action packed South Island adventure.  It was rugged.  It was amazing.  It was hardcore.  We camped, tramped and road tripped our way through the deep south, visiting some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Cannot wait to post some of the gazillion photos I took on our trip. I can barely lift my right arm 'cause I took so many.  Don't know if you heard me counting.  I took over a thousand. (I actually did!!)

{sneak peek from our south island road trip}

I also have loads of new recipes I've tried out from our Christmas festivities which I'm dying to share with you so am mucho excited bout being back to blogging.  Bring on twenty twelve baby!

Since it's a fresh new year, let's start off with a fresh salad recipe: Edamame, Fennel & Orange Salad.

This salad was inspired by an amazing meal I had on Cathay Pacific a while ago.  We were lucky enough to be upgraded to business class and the food was sensational.  Tell you what, a girl could totally get used to business class.

The salad on the flight paired fennel with edamame which is a combo I've never seen before but fell in love with.  Inspired, I set about to create my own version of the salad, adding oranges to give it a citrusy zing.

I tested it out on my family at our Christmas eve bbq and it went down a treat.  Everyone loved it and I just couldn't stop eating the stuff.  It's completely addictive and incredibly good for you too.  Bonus.

Edamame are young soy beans often served in the pod simply blanched and salted as a bar snack at Japanese sake bars.  You pop the plump bright green gems out of their pod and into your mouth and discard the pod.  They are buttery, slightly nuttery and utterly delish and go amazingly with a crisp dry beer.

Edamame are also packed with dietary fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and vitamin K.  Delicious and nutritious.  You tend to buy edamame frozen (even at the supermarket these days) and luckily for me, you can get them already shelled to save the hassle of having to de-pod them (I made broad bean salad last year and de-podding was the bane of my existence).

Fennel bulbs (a.k.a. Florence Fennel) are rather sexy little vegetables.  Used in Mediterranean dishes, it's not as strong as the fennel herb you get and has a crisp crunchy texture with a subtly aromatic aniseed flavour.  When choosing fennel bulbs, go for the curvier rounded female bulbs as they are slightly sweeter.  In fennel as in life, no?

Crisp aniseedy fennel combined with the sweet oranges and buttery edamame, and you have yourself a flavour-packed summer salad which is amazing just on it's own or partnered up with fish or chicken.

And since I seem to have a post-Christmas food baby that I just can't quit, this wee salad is def in my arsenal for trying to lose those post-Christmas pounds! Food baby be gone!

Edamame, Fennel and Orange Salad

Serves roughly 3-4 as a light meal or 6-8 as a side

1 x 450g bag frozen shelled edamame beans (countdown has them in the frozen vege aisle, or try an asian grocer)
1 fennel bulb
2 oranges
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use the fruity yummy stuff)
2 big pinches of salt
freshly cracked black pepper

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and boil the edamame straight from the freezer for 5 minutes. Drain and run under a cold tap to cool and place in a large salad bowl.

2. Cut the green tops off the fennel bulbs and set aside. Slice the fennel bulb in half vertically. Cut out the tough core and slice very very finely using a very sharp knife or a mandoline if you have one. Add the shards of fennel to the salad bowl. Pick some of the fronds off the green tops, chop roughly and add to the salad.  Save some to sprinkle on top just before serving.

3. Cut the skin off the orange making sure you get all the pitch off and cut out each individual segment, cut the segments in half and add to the salad bowl.

4. Mix the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to make the dressing.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

5. Just before serving, toss the dressing gently through the salad and sprinkle some of the fennel fronds on top to make it pretty. Devour with gusto.


  1. I grew broad beans one year and de-podding all season was enough for me to decide that I'm never growing those things again! I keep a bag of whole edamame in the freezer for an easy yummy snack, but the de-podded ones are great value (when buying by weight) considering that it's all edible from then on. Never thought of just chucking them into a salad. The Chinese style spoons are a cute and fitting vessel. Maybe more fitting of you had used mandarins instead of oranges.

  2. yess, i have fennel in the cupboard waiting for a recipe to come across! looking forward to seeing some more of your holiday snaps!

    Katie x

  3. Happy New Year, Nessie! The salad looks amazing, I'm loving healthy food this week! I didn't know you could buy shelled edamame, so will have to hunt it down. Gorgeous photos and writing :)

  4. Very Happy New Year Nisse, just today i was thinking of your blog! Glad you had a great trip, 1000 pic that is remarkable and salad, i love simple things this salad is just spot on! Have a great year lady!!

  5. Happy New Year Nessie! And a beautiful, healthy and delicious salad this is. Just the ticket for the January detox :D

  6. bunnyeatsdesign: You must have a green thumb Genie! Never even thought to try growing broad beans. Oh to have my own garden sigh. Hehe I totally agree with you...mandarins would have worked so much better in the spoons (I really just put them in spoons to take photos :P)

    Katie: Am working on putting together some best of the best holiday snaps...can't wait to share :)

    timeforalittlesomething: Happy New Year to you too Jem! I lasted on the healthy food for ooooh about a day :P Nothing beats healthy and delicious food though huh? Countdown are have got them on special at the mo...2 bags for $5!

    Ananda Rajashekar: A happy happy new year to you! Hope you have an amazing year Dr Ananda.

    Jagiri: Can't wait to show you all!! The south island is truly amazingly beautiful.

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella: Happy New Year Lorraine!! I had all these good intentions for a Jan detox but alas, deliciousness called :)



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