Versions of this salad are popular throughout the Mediterranean,
wherever fennel grows wild. Use the small black olives in brine, such
as Nicoise or Gaeta olives. Although I prefer the floral note that
mint adds, chopped parsley can be substituted.
2 large red grapefruits
1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup small black olives
12 large fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sweet paprika
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Trim thick slices from the ends of the grapefruits so they can
sit flat on a work surface. Slice downward around the grapefruits
to remove the peel and white pith. Sliced the peeled fruit crosswise
into 1/2-inch-thick circles, removing any seeds. Place the slices
and any juice they have given off in a large bowl.
2. Trim and discard the stems and fronds from the fennel. Trim a thick
slice from the base of the bulb and remove any tough or blemished
outer layers. Cut the bulb in half through the base and use a small,
sharp knife to remove the triangular piece of the core from each half.
With each fennel piece flat side down and your knife parallel to the
work surface, slice crosswise to yield several 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Cut the slices lengthwise to yield long strips about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Add the fennel, olives, and mint to the bowl with the grapefruits.
Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Drizzle with the oil
and toss gently. Serve immediately.
Variation: Italian Fennel and Orange Salad
In Italy, cooks are most likely to use oranges than grapefruits.
Use 3 navel or blood oranges in place of the grapefruits and omit