I relished my first fennel harvest at the weekend, and tried to recreate a fennel and orange salad I'd had in Umbria, Italy. The main key is fresh ingredients rather than any particular culinary magic, and the fennel was straight out of the ground, so it tasted delicious.
You can either squeeze a little of the orange juice over the salad to act as a dressing, or add a little extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar to taste. An alternative suggested by veggie chef extraordinaire Rose Elliot is to use pink grapefruit instead of orange.
I also sampled my first servings of Kale Nero di Toscana from the Real Seed Catalogue alongside a duck breast with blackcurrant sauce on Sunday night, and was delighted to read today that sales of kale are up on the grounds that it's a superfood. It was also surprisingly tasty steamed, and not as "earthy" as I'd feared. As Ben and Kate of Real Seeds say:
Normally you use the mature leaves as a cooked vegetable, but this has such a nice flavour (different from normal kale!) that we have been eating the thinnings and baby leaves raw in salad. Not quite as hardy as the other kales, but will stand well into winter, and often right through into spring in milder years.