An orange fennel salad is a classic combination that creates a wonderful flavor profile. The orange is sweet and soft, while the fennel is crunchy with a slight licorice taste. The citrus vinaigrette makes it all come together with a beautiful tangy punch! This is the perfect salad to brighten up gloomy winter days or if you're in a hotter climate (like us) to cool off after a day in the bright sun!
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A Healthy Spring Salad
An orange fennel salad is the perfect meal, appetizer, or side dish to boost the immune system! Fennel is a Mediterranean plant that is part of the carrot family. It is very popular in Italian cooking, but it is used all over the world and with good reason!
Fennel is packed with health benefits. Its full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and minerals like zinc and iron, among many others. These vitamins and minerals have been linked to increases in heart health and immunity, as well as a variety of other health benefits. That's enough to get me to put fennel in my diet every week! Plus, I love the way it tastes. Fennel is great fresh and raw or cooked in warm dishes.
As many of you know, citrus is also overflowing with nutrients. Oranges have more Vitamin C than your recommended daily dose! This helps to support your immune system, lower inflammation, and brighten skin.
The combination of fennel and oranges in this dish is not only delicious but super healthy!
How To Make This Orange Fennel Salad
To make this orange fennel salad, first gather your ingredients. This recipe is incredibly simple, you'll need 3 oranges, 1 bulb of fennel, and your favorite leafy green.
For the orange in this salad recipe you can use whatever you like. I love to use a mix of oranges, like blood orange, sumo citrus, and navel oranges (Florida has tons of varieties). However, feel free to use whichever kind you love!
The next ingredient, fennel, is important to buy extra fresh and crisp. Don't choose a bulb that has brown spots or is soft. The extra crunchy texture is what we are looking for in this salad recipe!
Third, choose your favorite leafy green to be the base of your orange fennel salad. If you prefer to leave leaves out of it, that's no problem! The citrus and fennel are amazing on their own. My favorite choices for lettuce in this recipe are arugula, romaine, or butter lettuce!
To begin prep for this orange fennel salad, wash your oranges and fennel well. Then grab your cutting board and a very sharp knife and slice them into thin slices. Make sure to remove the peel afterwards!
Lay your lettuce of choice down on a plate, then add your slices of oranges and fennel on top!
How To Make The Citrus Vinaigrette
For the dressing on this orange fennel salad, you will need an orange, lemon, lime, rice wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper. Begin by zesting the peel of the orange and lemon, be sure to wash them thoroughly beforehand. You can use the peel from the oranges you are slicing for the base of this salad recipe.
Add the zest to your bowl and save the rest in a bag in the freezer for future use. You can also put them into ice cube containers and fill them with water for flavored cubes! Combine all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, into your bowl.
To create a proper emulsification, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while whisking vigorously. After a few minutes you should have a creamy and bright vinaigrette!
Tip: Whenever possible, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in advance. Giving this combination a chance to meld makes a big difference.
Season it with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle it all over the salad! Enjoy!
Tools You May Need To Make This Orange Fennel Salad
- Cutting Board. This cutting board is great for cutting your oranges and fennel. I love that it's bamboo and naturally antibacterial!
- Sharp Knife. You'll need a great sharp knife to slice your fennel into delicious, thin and crispy strands!
- Bowl. Perfect for making the zesty citrus vinaigrette in!
- Whisk. Every home chef needs an awesome whisk, use it for emulsifying your dressing ingredients.
For the Salad
- 3 blood oranges (or regular navel oranges), cut into thin slices with rind removed
- 1 bulb fennel, washed, dried and thinly sliced, bottom and green leaves removed and discarded
- 1 head Romaine or other leafy green lettuce
For the Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 t. fresh orange zest
- 2 T. fresh orange juice
- 1 t. fresh lemon zest
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. honey
- 2 t. Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash the fruit and fennel thoroughly and pat dry.
- Zest each piece of fruit with a micro planer and add the specified amount to the bowl. You may freeze the left over zest for future use.
- Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, honey, mustard, and minced garlic to the bowl.
- Slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking thoroughly. The mixture should emulsify and come together as a creamy vinaigrette.
- Slice the oranges and finely shave the fennel with a sharp knife .
- Arrange your leafy green on the plate and top with orange slices, followed by the fennel.
- Drizzle the whole plate with the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!
Every delicious dinner needs an equally delicious appetizer! This orange fennel salad is the perfect dish to whet your appetite. It's also a beautiful salad to have on your table- delicious and aesthetic! I love the way the bright color orange slices looks glistening under the citrus dressing.
Did you make this recipe? Have you ever tried using fennel? Let us know in the comments below and share this recipe with your friends!