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Shaved Fennel Salad With Orange and Avocado

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5 from 3 votes

Sweet and crunchy fennel, juicy oranges, and creamy avocado are the perfect combo tossed with a bright citrus vinaigrette!

I’ve got a game-changer for your salad game: this fennel salad recipe is the real deal! Say goodbye to those sad side salads that barely make a dent in your hunger. This fennel salad is crunchy, fresh, and absolutely satisfying! The mellow anise of fennel paired with the sweet acid of the oranges is a classic Italian combo.  But I just couldn’t stop there! A beautiful pop of purple radicchio layered with tender endive, sweet onion, and spicy radishes make this salad a real showstopper. Plus, we’re throwing in some incredibly buttery marcona almonds, creamy avocado so you can even have this salad as a full dinner. Top it off with an irresistible citrus vinaigrette to balance out the subtle anise and licorice from the fennel. This salad is *chef’s kiss*!

Serve as a stunning appetizer or side dish, or top with Poached Salmon or shrimp for more protein!

Fennel Salad Video Tutorial

Ingredients

  • Radicchio – radicchio is a leafy vegetable that’s vibrant red with a bitter sweetness.
  • Fennel bulb – fennel will add a touch of anise and sweetness. Plus, the entire plant is edible: the pale green bulb, long stalks, and even the feathery fronds!
  • Belgian endive – endive adds crisp texture and a slightly peppery flavor to the salad. It perfectly pairs with the radish topping!
  • Radishes – radishes add a bright red and white pop, with a kicky spiciness! 
  • Sweet onion – sweet onions have a higher sugar content making them quite mild and sweet in flavor. I prefer Vidalia onions, but you can also use Walla Walla onions. 
  • Oranges – oranges add sweet acidity and a pop of juiciness. Plus, orange and fennel is a classic combination in Italy! I personally love cara cara oranges, but you can also use regular navel oranges. 
  • Avocado – slice your avocado right before serving your bowls to keep it green and fresh. 
  • Marcona almonds – marcona almonds are buttery and amazing in salad. You can typically find them in the cheese and antipasto section of your grocery store.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – extra virgin olive oil brings the flavors of our vinaigrette together. 
  • White wine vinegar – white wine vinegar is tart, with a subtle fruitiness that works really well with oranges. Sub white balsamic vinegar if preferred. 
  • Fresh orange juice – fresh orange juice from the oranges in the salad, rounds out our dressing!
  • Orange zest – use a zester or grater to zest your orange for the vinaigrette. The zest is essence-of-orange flavor. 
  • Fresh dill – fresh dill adds herbaceous freshness as a garnish.

How To Shave Fennel For This Salad

  • Cut the stalks off where it meets the bulb. You can save the stalks to use in soup like Tortellini Soup
  • Save the feathery fronds (the dill-like leaves) that look fresh. Wash gently under running water and pat dry with a towel. Set aside to use in the salad!
  • Cut the very end root of the fennel bulb (the brown end of the round bulb). 
  • Cut the bulb in half, rinsing any dirt. 
  • Thinly slice the fennel into small strips. I prefer to use a mandolin as it’s the easiest method, but you can also use a sharp knife!
  • Bring back the fennel fronds! The fun wispy tops are a perfect garnish for your salad.

How To Make Fennel Salad

Learn how to make this fennel salad! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!

  1. Layer.

    Start with a layer of radicchio leaves on each plate.

  2. Add.

    Then add endive leaves followed by a layer of thinly sliced fennel and sweet onion.

  3. Zest.

    Zest the oranges for the vinaigrette.

  4. Remove.

    Remove peel from oranges after zesting. Then, remove the white membrane from the outside of the orange with a sharp knife.

  5. Cut.

    While holding the orange in your palm, use your knife to cut between the membrane of each segment, just to the center of the orange.

  6. Pop out.

    Pop out each orange segment into a bowl, collecting the juice in the bowl as well.

  7. Squeeze.

    Squeeze the leftover orange (without the segments) to release any remaining juice.

  8. Add more.

    Add orange segments to the top of the salads.

  9. Sprinkle.

    Sprinkle thinly sliced radishes and Marona almonds on top of the oranges.

  10. Slice.

    Slice the avocado and add to the top of each salad.

  11. Garnish.

    Garnish with dill and fennel fronds.

  12. Whisk.

    Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, orange zest, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

  13. Drizzle.

    Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over each salad. If the salads seem dry, add a touch more orange juice and/or white wine vinegar.

Variations

This fennel salad recipe is great to switch up the flavor to your liking or even to adjust to match what you have on hand. Here are some ideas!

  • Add olives. Add Castelvetrano olives for a classic Sicilian green olive that isn’t too briny. 
  • Other nuts. Swap out the marcona almonds for lightly toasted pine nuts. 
  • Herb swap. Switch out the fresh dill garnish for fresh mint leaves. 
  • Top with cheese. Crumbled feta is a great salad topping. Otherwise, you can never go wrong with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serving Suggestions

This fennel salad is a perfect side dish or appetizer for so many meals! Pair it with Italian-inspired dishes like Lasagna, chicken piccata, or Cacio e Pepe. Want to make it a full meal? Top with a protein such as Parmesan Crusted Chicken, shrimp, or Roasted Chickpeas. Regardless, serving with crusty warm bread is a must!

More Salad Recipes You’ll Love!

Shaved Fennel Salad With Orange and Avocado

Sweet and crunchy fennel, juicy oranges, and creamy avocado are the perfect combo tossed with a bright citrus vinaigrette!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: spring, summer
Servings: 4 appetizer servings
Calories: 352kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Mandolin (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 1 large fennel bulb stalk removed, thinly sliced, and feathery fronds saved
  • 2 Belgian endive
  • Small bunch radishes thinly sliced
  • ½ small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 3 oranges Cara Cara or navel oranges
  • 1 avocado
  • cup marcona almonds
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh dill to garnish
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start by making a layer of radicchio leaves on each plate. Then add endive leaves.
  • Then add a layer of thinly sliced fennel and sweet onion.
  • Set aside ¼ teaspoon of orange zest. Then remove peel from oranges.
  • Use a sharp knife (a small, sharp paring knife is easiest) to shave off the white membrane from the outside of the orange.
  • Hold the orange in the palm of your hand. Use your knife to cut between the membrane of each segment, just to the center of the orange. Pop out each orange segment into a bowl, letting the juice collect in the bowl as well. Squeeze the leftover orange (without the segments) to release any remaining juice.
  • Add orange segments to the top of the salads, leaving the juice in the bowl.
  • Sprinkle thinly sliced radishes and marconas almonds on top of oranges.
  • Slice avocado and add to the top of each salad.
  • Garnish with dill and fennel fronds.
  • In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, orange zest, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice from segmented oranges, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over each salad. If salads seem dry, add a bit more orange juice and/or vinegar. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • I use a mandolin to thinly slice. It’s the easiest method! But you can also use a sharp knife.
  • I like to layer ingredients on large plates and then drizzle the dressing over the top of the individual salads. But you can also toss the salad with the vinaigrette in a big bowl!

Nutrition

Serving: 1appetizer serving | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg
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