Once upon a time I proudly proclaimed, "I don’t like fennel!" Really? Heck, I had never purchased, tasted, or even seen a bulb of fennel. But, because someone had casually mentioned it tasted like licorice was all the motivation I needed to drop kick the notion of EVEN THINKING of eating it right out the front door! (Look it up, that is what licorice haters do!)

My paradigm certainly shifted after an enchanted evening of dining at the Grandview Inn with the French Hens and other fabulous friends. The entire group was totally mesmerized by Tiffany Poe! ( That spunky woman is the real deal and can she ever strut her stuff! ) To our delight, she both educated and spoiled us. My icy, "Down with Fennel" mantra melted with my first bite of her ultimate orange and fennel salad! Talk about rockin’ my world!!!

By the time we bid the night ado, I don’t know if I felt more like the bridesmaid who just caught the wedding bouquet or the high school homecoming queen! I do know it was a night to remember.

The following recipe may not be EXACTLY like hers, but I think Tiffany would agree with me that it is pretty ding-dang close.

UP WITH FENNEL

and orange SALAD

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and very thinly sliced; save two or three of those green, feathery-like sprigs

2 medium oranges, peeled, sliced, and cut up into smaller sections

A hint of red onion

1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 to 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the thinly sliced fennel, sprigs, orange segments, and hint of red onion in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Gently stir and serve. *When I made this for my family, I tossed in a handful of sweetened dried cranberries.