Fennel & Orange Salad

Cook Eat WorldEuropeanFennel & Orange Salad

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: November 11, 2019

Last Updated: January 25th, 20234 Comments

Tangy oranges and sweet, aniseed infused fennel are the perfect paring! Soft and juicy, meets super-crunch in this classic, simple and utterly delicious Italian offering – the taste of summer in every mouthful!

A plate of fennel & Orange Salad with a glass of white wine to the side.

This Italian Fennel and Orange salad is so refreshing. It's one of my favourite salads. I love nothing more than a simple piece of roasted fish or chicken accompanied by this crunchy, sweet salad. And like many salad recipes, simple to put together. There's hardly anything to it - ready in minutes, whatever the occasion.

A classic Italian fennel salad recipe

Italians know what flavours work together! A fennel & orange salad is a masterclass of flavour, colour and texture. The sweet aniseed flavour of fennel is the perfect parnter to sweet orange segments. In Italy, fennel has a long season from June to October, so the markets are always well stocked with one of their most loved vegetables. Fennel is used in so many ways in Italy, but as a simple, fresh salad is one of the most common.

In the USA, fennel is in season in late winter through to Spring, which is when it's at its best and cheapest. Like many fresh ingredients these days, you can find it all year 'round. This salad is especially delicious in the summer months.

If you're lucky enough to visit Italy, be sure to try the fennel - it's noticeably more tender, crunchy and delicious. It's not just my in my imagination, it's seriously amazing.

Why it works

It's fresh! - The crunch of fresh fennel is second to none and when it's combined with the juicy, tartness of a sweet orange, it's off the chart delights!

It's quick and easy - I'm not going to argue with a salad that I can throw together in a matter of minutes. You shouldn't either!

Fresh fennel for a Fennel & Orange Salad

Stuff you'll need

This salad pretty much explains the ingredients out... but here are the key flavours.

  • Fresh fennel - remove the stems, we're only interested in the crunchy white parts.
  • Oranges - Choose your favourite variety. Valencia oranges are my favourite, and if you're lucky enough to ever find Sumo oranges - snap them up, they're utterly delicious.
  • Red onion - All that sweetness needs a little savoury to counteract.
  • Herbs - To mirror the aniseed flavour, I like to use dill (you can also use some of the fennel leaves chopped) and a little mint for flavour and fragrance.
  • Dressing - Mine is simple - lemon and extra virgin olive oil (you can also use the juice from half an orange).

How to make

My fennel & orange salad recipe is so easy, it's just a case of chopping and combining. The fennel and oranges require a little light knife skills so, here's how I tackle those.

  • To prepare the fennel - Remove the green stems and discard (or keep for stock/broth), then remove any grubby outer parts (or wash them thoroughly). Cut the fennel in half from top to bottom. Make an upside down V shape to cut out the tough centre root part and discard. Now cut into thin slices.
  • To prepare the oranges - I like to segment mine, so using a paring knife, cut off the skin and then carefully cut out each segment between the skin. Alternatively, you can just cut off the skin and cut the orange into slices or chunks.
  • Slice the onion and chop the herbs then combine everything together with the dressing and serve.

Serving, storing and suggestions

  • Serving - I love to pair this fennel salad with fish - it also marries real well with pork. I'll bbq a juicy chop and serve with a big bowl of salad potatoes and it's pretty much as close to perfection as it gets.
  • Make an orange an apple - For a truly delicious version, try my Fennel & Apple salad too. A triumph!
  • Mix up the herbs - Using different herbs can enhance the flavour in many ways. Try fresh tarragon (another anise note), parsley, basil or oregano. They all work splendidly.
  • Storage Fridge - This salad will only live a day in the fridge before losing some of its magic. This salad is best enjoyed right away. It's not suitable for freezing.
Fresh oranges for a Fennel & Orange Salad

Ready to get started?

Bring some fresh, light, bright flavours into your life with this amazing fennel and orange salad. It's a great option to pair with almost anything else on the table. I prepare it at least twice a month and pair it with meats, fish and other Italian salads. What's stopping you?

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have a question about this fennel & orange salad? Let me know in the comments.

How do you cut a fennel for salad?

  • Chop off the stalks and fronds and discard (or use later for soups and broths). Clean or discard the outer leaves if they're grubby or discoloured.
  • Remove the root end, and slice the bulb in half from the top to bottom. Remove the core with your knife in an upside down V shape.
  • Thinly slice the remaining fennel.

What part of fennel can you not eat?

The stalks/fronds are a little fibrous, so they are removed. They're fine for stocks and soups though so keep hold of them. The core can be a little tough, so remove that too. If you're in Italy and they're fresh from the ground - you can eat everything!

 

A plate of fennel & Orange Salad with a glass of white wine to the side.

Fennel & Orange Salad

Rate this recipe

5 from 2 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 248

Ingredients

  • 4 oranges (segmented)
  • 1 fennel bulb (trimmed, cored and finely sliced)
  • ¼ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
  • ½ lemon (juice of)
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the sliced fennel, oranges, onion, dill and mint in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil then pour over the salad. Season with a little salt & pepper.
  • Toss gently to combine and you're done.

Notes

Preparing the salad
  • To prepare the fennel - Remove the green stems and discard (or keep for stock/broth), then remove any grubby outer parts (or wash them thoroughly). Cut the fennel in half from top to bottom. Make an upside down V shape to cut out the tough centre root part and discard. Now cut into thin slices.
  • To prepare the oranges - I like to segment mine, so using a paring knife, cut off the skin and then carefully cut out each segment between the skin. Alternatively, you can just cut off the skin and cut the orange into slices or chunks.
  • Slice the onion and chop the herbs then combine everything together with the dressing and serve.
Suggestions & Storage
  • Serving - I love to pair this fennel salad with fish - it also marries real well with pork. I'll bbq a juicy chop and serve with a big bowl of salad potatoes and it's pretty much as close to perfection as it gets.
  • Make an orange an apple - For a truly delicious version, try my Fennel & Apple salad too. A triumph!
  • Mix up the herbs - Using different herbs can enhance the flavour in many ways. Try fresh tarragon (another anise note), parsley, basil or oregano. They all work splendidly.
  • Storage Fridge - This salad will only live a day in the fridge before losing some of its magic. This salad is best enjoyed right away. It's not suitable for freezing.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 22g (7%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 18g (28%) | Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 32mg (1%) | Potassium: 521mg (15%) | Fiber: 6g (25%) | Sugar: 15g (17%) | Vitamin A: 437IU (9%) | Vitamin C: 85mg (103%) | Calcium: 90mg (9%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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