I turn to this recipe as an alternative to a traditional lettuce salad. I adore the contrast of textures and the bright citrus flavors. This salad is at once crispy, citrusy and salty with a hint of sweetness — a refreshing Sicilian pick-me-up.
Combine the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Whisk vigorously until well blended. Set aside. Cut the stems off the fennel, reserving the fronds for garnishing the salad.
Cut the fennel in half, remove the core, and cut into quarters. Using a mandoline or small sharp knife, slice the fennel pieces thinly. Place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dust with a pinch of salt. Add the onion and olives. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Place in a shallow salad bowl or rimmed platter and garnish with the fennel fronds and mint. Add sliced Parmigiano cheese (if desired). Dust with a few grinds of black pepper and serve immediately.