As mentioned last week, I am guilty of buying cookbooks {especially ones with pretty covers and pictures!} and rarely actually cooking out of them. I recently picked up this gorgeous Sicilian cookbook {get it here!filled with rustic recipes and beautiful scenic imagery. But this time around, I was determined to crack it open and learn something new! For our second edition of Cooking Out of Your Comfort Zone, I took on the Insalta di Arance!


Recipe: Insalata di Arance (Orange Salad)


3-4 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
8 oranges
1 cup roasted olives {or your favorite combo from the olive bar!}

For the dressing:
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
salt and pepper


Start by preparing your dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and fennel seeds in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut off the peel from the oranges, removing all of the white pith. Cut the flesh into rounds. {Editor’s note: I mixed CaraCara and Valencia oranges to get a pretty mix of color. You can even try grapefruit!}. Slice your fennel – I recommend using a mandolin to really get them thin. It’s my new favorite kitchen tool! In a large bowl add the fennel and olives. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve!


Since fennel has such a strong flavor, I eye-balled how much I wanted in the salad. I would say that it serves 6, not 8.

This recipe was very simple to make and I love that it turned out looking just like the  picture in the book! It was so refreshing and juicy with really bright flavors. I loved the vibrant colors it added to the table. A perfect potluck dish to wow your friends at your next barbecue!

If you missed it, you have to bookmark this recipe for Spicy Garlic Shrimp on Coconut Rice with Mango Basil Salsa!

original photography for apartment 34 by Simone Anne // styling and art direction by erin hiemstra

What do you think?

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  1. My mom does a similar one where she uses boiled potatoes instead of fennel. It’s delicious! I never thought olives and orange would taste so well together! Oh, those happy surprises 😉

    1. Oo potatoes and orange? I’m down to give that a try!

  2. It sounds like the perfect bite for a summer meal. I’ve recently added this book on my wish list and now I’m even more curious to get it.

    1. It’s a purchase you won’t regret! Super inspiring recipes in this one!

  3. This sounds really interesting, they use a lot of fennel in Italy and it isn’t so popular here. I’m gonna try this one.

  4. This is stunning, Erin! I share your guilt about cookbooks… they’re just too gorgeous to resist sometimes!

    1. It’s a real weakness that I want to work on, but also don’t. I guess the only way to justify so many gorgeous cookbooks is to actually use them all the time!

  5. This salad looks stunning, delicious and healthy. I can’t wait to try it!


    Sophie // Sip Savour Share

  6. I love this idea! Lately I’ve been in a dinner rut and have been making the same few variations of a chicken dish. When I first read this post I was thinking, “Oh that’s not something I typically eat.” Then I caught myself! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try and try some others in cookbooks I’ve yet to crack open!

    xo, Alex
    Vast Aspiration

  7. Oh this sounds lovely! Thank you for sharing! I love fennel (it’s like a healthy version of liquorice ;)) Looks like i will be having this tonight!