Soft green lettuce, a faintly licorice fennel crunch, sweet and tangy citrus, and a sesame dressing create a standout combination. A friend’s garden provided small, seedless mandarins—but seedless tangerine or navel orange sections cut in half work too. Sriracha chili sauce adds a hint of sweet spiciness that balances the tahini’s slightly bitter nuttiness.
- butter lettuce leaves, washed and spun dry
- fennel bulb, trimmed top and bottom
- seedless mandarins
- tahini (sesame paste)
- garlic, smashed and minced
- parsley, minced
- lemon juice
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Sriracha chili sauce
- smoked paprika or chile powder (optional)
- mild vinegar, such as white balsamic, rice vinegar, or fruit vinegar (optional)
- toasted almonds, slivered or sliced
- Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and put in a large bowl. Quarter fennel bulb lengthwise and slice thinly crosswise; add to bowl. Peel mandarins, removing and discarding pith; separate into sections and add to bowl.
- Whisk together tahini, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and oil in a glass measuring cup or small bowl until well blended. Add water, if needed, to thin the mixture. Season with Sriracha, paprika and vinegar if using, and salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings. Top with almonds and serve.