Italian Fennel Orange Salad

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5 from 6 votes

Italians know how to use fennel! Fennel and orange is a classic combination in Italy. Fennel’s anise “licorice” taste is complemented by the sweet tartness of oranges. Roasting the fennel mellows out its sharp flavor in this bright, simple salad!

Springtime equals fennel time! Roasted fennel tossed with segmented oranges, Italian Castelvetrano olives and a delicious vinaigrette is a delicious ode to Springtime and classic Italian flavors.

Serve alone as an appetizer or side dish, or add juicy chicken breast or chickpeas for a complete meal!

Ingredients

  • Green leaf lettuce – green leaf lettuce is deliciously crispy, delicate and tender.
  • Fennel – fennel will add a touch of anise and sweetness.
  • Castelvetrano olives – Castelvetrano olives are a classic Sicilian green olive that’s meaty, buttery and delicate (not too briny!).
  • Oranges – oranges add sweet acidity and a pop of juiciness. I like cara cara oranges the best, but you can also use regular navel oranges!
  • Smooth Dijon mustard – a tiny bit of mustard added to the vinaigrette will add creaminess and a touch of “tang” that compliments the oranges!
  • Sherry wine vinegar – sherry wine vinegar has a complex taste that’s rich and nutty, and less overpowering than white wine vinegar.
  • Honey – a touch of honey compliments the oranges and mellow out the vinegar.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil brings the flavors of our vinaigrette together.
  • Garlic – garlic! No explanation needed.

Ingredient Substitutions

  1. Green leaf lettuce – substitute butterhead or frisée for green leaf lettuce.
  2. Castelvetrano olives – substitute Frescatrano or no olives (for olive haters!) for Castelvetrano olives.

How to Cut Fennel for Salad

  1. Cut off the fennel fronds (the dill-like leaves) and the dark green stalk. The fronds can be used as a salad garnish, but the stalk (that can be tough) should be used for something else like Tortellini Soup!
  2. Cut the very end root of the fennel bulb (the brown end of the round bulb).
  3. Cut the bulb in half and then in quarters, rinsing any dirt.
  4. Slice the quarters into small strips.

How to Cook Fennel

My favorite way to cook fennel is to roast it after cutting into small strips. Roast at 375 degrees, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, for 25-30 minutes.

How to Segment An Orange

See my newest video in the recipe card below, or my full post on segmenting oranges!

Tips & Tricks

  • Cool roasted fennel to room temperature before adding it to your salad.
  • Use raw fennel rather than roasted if preferred, by thinly slicing the bulb with a mandolin. The fennel “anise” taste will be more pronounced when raw, and of course, it will be more crunchy!
  • You can make this salad ahead, storing in the refrigerator and adding the vinaigrette right before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is fennel?

Fennel is one of Italy’s most popular vegetables, eaten raw or roasted! All parts of fennel are edible, from the bulb to the stalks and wispy fronds.

What does fennel taste like?

Fennel has an anise “licorice” taste which mellows out and sweetens when roasted.

Can you make fennel orange salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! Make the salad ahead of time, storing in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance. Make the vinaigrette right before serving, adding to the salad and then tossing.

What to Serve With Fennel And Orange Salad

Top your fennel orange salad with juicy chicken breast, shrimp, chickpeas, or marcona almonds to turn this salad from an appetizer to a whole meal! And this goes without saying…serve your salad with crusty, warm bread!

More Salad Recipes on Tastefully Grace!

Italian Fennel Orange Salad

Roasted fennel tossed with segmented oranges, Italian Castelvetrano olives and a delicious vinaigrette is a delicious ode to Springtime and classic Italian flavors.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 385kcal
Author: TastefullyGrace

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces green leaf lettuce
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs cut into small strips
  • 3 oranges cara cara or navel
  • 1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed and minced
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

Roasted Fennel

  • Place small strips of fennel in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Roast fennel at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Segmented Oranges

  • In the meantime, segment the oranges. Start off by peeling an orange. Rest the bottom of the orange on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the thin white membrane off the outside of the orange. The orange should now be completely orange!
  • Pick the orange up and place it in the palm of your hand so that you can easily see the membrane that separates each orange segment. Use your knife to cut between the membranes (lines between segments) to the center of the orange so that the segments pop out.
  • Repeat until all segments are removed from the membrane. Repeat for all oranges!

Vinaigrette & Assembly

  • Add lettuce, olives, segmented oranges and cooled roasted fennel to a large bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar, garlic, honey, 1/3 cup olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Pour over salad and toss gently.
  • Serve alone, or topped with juicy chicken breast, shrimp, chickpeas or marcona almonds for a full meal!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Cool roasted fennel to room temperature before adding it to your salad.
  • Use raw fennel rather than roasted if preferred, by thinly slicing the bulb with a mandolin. The fennel “anise” taste will be more pronounced when raw, and of course, it will be more crunchy!
  • You can make this salad ahead, storing in the refrigerator and adding the vinaigrette right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 4710IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 2mg
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