Satsuma, pomegranate, fennel and chicory salad with feta

Pomegranates and satsumas come into season around the same time in late autumn and make very good partners, with their different notes of sharp and sweet.

This salad is ideal for a crisp and cold evening, especially when eaten with warm flatbread or pitta bread to mop up all the juices. It would also make a lovely starter before a rich main course.

Serves 4
satsumas 6
red onion 1, small and very finely sliced
pomegranate 1, large
red wine vinegar 1½ tbsp 
honey 1 tsp
extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp 
fennel 2 bulbs
feta 200g
chicory 3 heads, leaves separated
chives a small bunch, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper

Peel the satsumas with a knife to get rid of all the pith, then, keeping the segments together, cut into slices about 3mm thick.

Put the slices, along with any juice, into a large bowl with the onion and a pinch of salt. Mix well, then leave to soften down while you tackle the pomegranate.

Cut the pomegranate in half, then cut one part into two.

Squeeze the juice from the two quarters through a sieve into a bowl – you may need to do a bit of prodding with a fork to get the pomegranate to release its juice. This should reward you with about 4 tbsp. Add the red wine vinegar and honey to the bowl, then season with salt and pepper.

Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to incorporate into the dressing.

Take the other half of the pomegranate, place it cut-side down on a board and tap it with a rolling pin to dislodge the seeds. Remove any white membrane from the seeds, then add them to the bowl with the satsumas and onion. Trim the fennel, keeping any fronds, then slice very finely and add to the bowl.

Chop the reserved fennel fronds and add these too. Now crumble in the feta and gently toss all the ingredients together.

Put the chicory leaves and chives in another bowl, season lightly and dress with some of the pomegranate dressing.

Arrange the chicory leaves on 4 plates, then scatter the rest of the salad over the top, finishing with some extra dressing.

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