I’ve been reflecting on ‘Veganuary’. It is an interesting movement that is making the headlines.

I think it has had even more publicity than Dry January or Movember! Not sure which is the most difficult challenge. On the whole, I have found is that many people are choosing more vegan options but are doing it as part of a mixed diet rather than as a complete dietary change. This is not a bad option. Eating less meat and dairy is a positive move for the environment, but I would not advocate giving it up completely.

I believe extremes of anything are not always the best option, or even sustainable. Moderation in all things and a little of what you fancy is my preferred choice of eating.

So , in that mode, the thought of a haggis dinner or a Chinese take away is not tempting me today. With the light starting to come back ever so slightly into the skies, I actually feel like a vegan supper, a light salad, packed with nutrients and bitter flavours. It’s a good choice…not from a point of principle but selfishly because it tastes delicious and makes me feel good.

Sweet Sicilian Tarocco Blood Oranges are in season now. Their distinctive colour is the result of the pigment, anthocyanin, reacting to the fluctuation between chilly nights and warm days that is the delicious climate in Sicily now. Makes me shiver with delight!


half a red onion

4 Sicilian Tarocco or Spanish blood oranges

1 unwaxed lemon

1 head radicchio leaves

1 head chicory

1 bulb fennel

1 tablespoon oiled black olives, Taggiasche or Kalamata, stoned

1 small bunch flat leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Peel and thinly slice the onion and cover in cold water while you prepare the salad. (This sweetens the crisps the flavour).

Peel the oranges and remove all the pith. Separate the segments retaining any juices that are released.

Wash and zest the lemon, cutting the flesh from inside to mix with the orange segments. Retain the juices.

Prepare the radicchio and chicory leaves, discarding any damaged or wilted outer leaves and the thick core at the base.

Separate the leaves and slice the lengthwise.

Prepare the fennel bulb the same way, slicing the bulb very finely, lengthwise as well.

Lay all the ingredients in a shallow bowl and toss everything together.

Drain the onion rings and add them.

Add the olives and the fresh herbs, the juices and the zest.

Season with sea salt and add a generous drizzle of olive extra virgin oil.

Taste and adjust.

Serve chilled.