Fresh Fennel & Orange Salad

Fresh Fennel & Orange Salad

I’ve discovered that if you name a dish after your child, the chances they’ll eat it increase. Although my daughter has a hearty appetite and a fairly sophisticated palate, sometimes salad is not the most exciting choice at the dinner table. When I make this, I always refer to it as hers. She especially enjoys this with the addition of crumbled blue cheese or feta. The salty cheese adds another layer of delicious flavor, though I’ve opted to leave it out in this simpler version. For a super healthy dinner, we’ve added grilled chicken to make it a meal.

This salad is very light and refreshing. The thinly sliced fennel gives a nice crunch and its sweet anise flavor is a perfect match to the oranges.  If you’re unsure about fennel, you should give it a try. It’s a versatile veggie that’s delicious raw and thinly sliced in salads, or even roasted in the oven. Cooking it in the oven mellows the flavor and it’s really nice when roasted alongside carrots or even potatoes. The New York Times featured a segment in their series “Recipes for Health” about fennel and included various recipes. If my salad hasn’t inspired you enough to try it, possibly Martha Rose Shulman’s oven roasted fish with fennel will have you shopping for fennel on your next trip to the market.

INGREDIENTS (Serves about 4)

  • About 5-6oz mixed baby greens or other favorite lettuce mix
  • 2 navel oranges, segmented and juiced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Place the mixed greens, fennel and onion in a salad bowl. Segment your oranges and squeeze the orange skeleton over a bowl to gather all the fresh OJ. Add the orange segments to the salad bowl and measure out 2 tbsp of the fresh orange juice for the dressing. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Taste for seasoning.

Dress the salad right before serving.



While helping cook for a charity dinner years ago, a friend/caterer shared her tips and techniques for slicing and segmenting oranges. I’ve found this short video on Food52 which walks you through those steps. Click here to see the video.


2 Comments to “Fresh Fennel & Orange Salad”

  1. Being a huge fan of the fennel and orange combo, I wanted to share that my Italian family has enjoyed these both, although separately, after every meal, for as long as I can remember and then some! Apparently, “back in the old country” these were seasonal treats not always easy to come by!Every Fall season from Thanksgiving thru February, when fennel and oranges are in peak season, every meal with my family, to this day, ends with a salad of thinly or thickly, sliced fennel, tossed simply with olive oil, salt pepper, and sometimes lemon juice (depending on who’s cooking that day ) along with a huge oval serving dish of big juicy half-moons of naval oranges sprinkled with salt and black pepper and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Rind in tact…to eat with your fingers.. so you can catch every piece of pulp and drop of juice. Two of my family favorites, always close to my heart…combined, only makes it easer to enjoy both at once.!! Bravo! Buon Appetito!

    • If only we could truly appreciate the simple things in life today like oranges and fennel, as they did in the “old country.” Can’t think of a moment in my lifetime when I couldn’t find an orange in the market… amazing. I bet theirs tasted worlds better than ours do today. Love love love the story! Thanks so much for sharing!! I have to try oranges with s/p and olive oil. I bet that’s delish!

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