EXTRA 24 HOURS and a Sicilian Fennel Salad Recipe

What would you do if you had an extra 24 hours in your life?

That’s what leap day is all about. An extra day. Think about it this way: your birthday this year would be a day late. How weird is that?

For most of us it’s just another workday. I was on set today shooting some yummy dishes for Easter, for instance. I didn’t even think about the date… but then someone phrased it as an extra 24 hours, and I got to thinking – what would I do?
So many DIYs I was planning on! So many recipes I wanted to try! But to tell you the truth, I would probably leave all these undone and just spend that time with my 4-months adorable baby girl.. People told me my priorities would change but I never believed them (baby over cake? Come on!!) – until I had my own, that is… 🙂

Admit that you wondered, at least once today, when people who were born on this special date celebrate their birthday. Right?? 🙂

Although winter is a time where I usually make soups and crave cooked meals, it’s nice to take a break and use those wintery vegetables to make a nice, crunchy salad that’s light but still satisfying.

This salad originates in Italy, where fennel and citrus are at their prime during winter. The mint gives it a beautiful freshness and the olives some earthy flavor. Careful not o put too many though, as their flavor tends to overpower others!


Sicilian Fennel Salad
Yield: 4 servings

From the pantry:
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 oranges
about ¼ cup green olives, pitted and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


for the sauce:
1/3 cup olive oil
salt, pepper
a few dashes Tabasco sauce

*Optional: some Pecorino shavings


  1. Cut fennel into quarters, then thinly slice lengthwise.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sliced fennel, shallot and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. set aside to allow the fennel to soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the orange into wedges – do it over a bowl to catch the juices, and squeeze in whatever juices are left from the pulp. Add the juice to the fennel bowl.
  4. Stir in all other ingredients gently, taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Add some Pecorino shavings, num num!!
  6. There you have it, a fresh-crunchy salad to beat the winter blues 🙂


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