Bright and fresh fennel orange salad with a zesty Mediterranean dressing. This refreshing citrus salad with hints of licorice is ready in just 10 minutes. Pair it with chicken, fish, or protein of your choice for an easy dinner!
Fennel orange salad with a Mediterranean twist!
Fresh seasonal fruit is an easy way to elevate a simple salad by adding sweetness and color.
And in this fennel orange salad, there is also a nice contrast of textures that I love—sweet, juicy citrus layered with crunchy fennel and shallots. (I’ve been on a fennel kick lately and have been loving its subtle licoricey taste even in things like a lentil stew)
Drizzled with the garlicky lemon and sumac dressing, this quick citrus salad makes the perfect side to my baked chicken drumsticks or pan-seared salmon, or protein of your choice for an easy dinner…and you get a nice boost of vitamin C while you’re at it!
Ingredients – what you’ll need to make this salad
Here’s what you’ll need to make this fennel orange salad:
- Navel oranges - peeled and thinly sliced into rounds. (See my tips below for how to slice an orange!) You can also use other types of sweet citrus that’s in season – such as tangerines or clementines – instead. If you decide to use these smaller options, you will need to separate them into segments instead of slicing them into rounds
- Grapefruit - peeled and sliced into rounds
- Fresh fennel – one small bulb, halved and thinly sliced
- Spring mix or other salad greens – a bag of spring mix is a convenient thing to use here, but if you like to mix your own, you can use baby spinach or kale with some peppery arugula
- Shallots – halved and thinly sliced. If you don’t have shallots, red onions will work but they are a bit stronger in taste.
- Dressing (see below)
For the Dressing
In keeping with the citrus theme, this fennel and orange salad is best tossed in a light dressing made with fresh lemon juice and good extra virgin olive oil (similar to my ladolemono Greek dressing) and seasoned very simply so that it does not clash or take away from the freshness of the salad. Here is what I used to make the dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil – I like our Spanish extra virgin olive oil in this dressing--it is a moderately intense oil with fruity undertones and a slight peppery finish
- Fresh lemon juice – Use the juice of a large lemon
- Minced garlic – 2 cloves add just the right amount of garlicky goodness
- Sumac – Sumac is a tangy and earthy spice made from ground sumac berries. It has a subtle flavor that is reminiscent of lemons, making it the perfect choice for this citrus salad!
- Dried oregano – A teaspoon of dried oregano for an herby touch
How to make fennel orange salad:
- Assemble the salad. Add 2 cups spring mix (or other salad greens of your choice) to a large bowl. Add 1 small thinly sliced bulb of fennel and 2 thinly sliced shallots. Lastly, add 1 navel orange and 1 grapefruit, both peeled and sliced into rounds.
- Make the dressing. Combine ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, the juice of one lemon, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon each of sumac and dried oregano, and some kosher salt and black pepper in a measuring jug and stir/whisk to combine.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss very gently, and serve.
How to peel an orange
A good, sharp paring knife is the tool you need to peel oranges and grapefruit. For this recipe, I don’t recommend trying to peel the fruit with your hands, as this can sometimes break apart the fruit’s flesh. Since we need round slices, the flesh of the orange and grapefruit need to be whole and undamaged. Here’s how to peel an orange:
- Start by cutting a bit off the top of the fruit (where the stem would be) with a sharp knife to create a flat surface. Do the same on the opposite side of the orange or grapefruit.
- Place one flat end on a cutting board. Starting with the knife at the top of the fruit, carefully slice away the peel and the pith (the white membrane between the flesh and the peel) in a downward direction. While the pith is healthy and contains lots of nutrients, it is quite bitter, and the salad tastes a lot better without it!
- Keep moving around the orange or grapefruit until all the peel and pith have been removed.
- Once the orange and grapefruit have been peeled, you can either segment them or slice them into rounds (as is needed in this recipe).
Serve this salad with
This bright citrus salad pairs well with many things. It’s the perfect little bed for any protein of your choice. I mentioned chicken drumsticks and pan-seared salmon earlier, but I also love it with fish kabobs and my harissa lamb chops, which are also marinated in orange juice!
Make ahead tips
If you want to do some prep in advance, slice all the ingredients a day ahead. Store the citrus in one airtight container, and the shallot and fennel in another. Keep refrigerated. You can also make the dressing a day ahead and refrigerate it in a tightly covered mason jar.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, all that is left to do is quickly assemble and dress it.
Leftovers and storage
This citrus salad is best eaten and finished immediately. But if you foresee leftovers, don’t dress the salad all at once, and instead dress individual servings. Store leftover salad in an airtight container for 2 days. Remaining dressing should be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Other Orange Recipes to Try:
Featured in today's recipe
Fresh Fennel Orange Salad Recipe
- 2 navel oranges, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced into round
- 1 small fennel, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cups spring mix or salad greens of your choice
- 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
- Assemble the salad. Add the spring mix (or other salad greens of your choice) to a large bowl. Add the chopped fennel and shallots. Lastly, add the navel orange and grapefruit.
- Make the dressing. Combine 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon juice, minced garlic, sumac, dried oregano, and some kosher salt and black pepper in a measuring jug and stir/whisk to combine.
- Serve. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. Transfer to as serving bowl or platter to serve.
- Make-ahead tips: Slice all the ingredients a day ahead. Store the citrus in one airtight container, and the shallot and fennel in another. Keep refrigerated. You can also make the dressing a day ahead and refrigerate it in a tightly covered mason jar. When you’re ready to serve the salad, all that is left to do is quickly assemble and dress it.
- Leftovers and storage: This citrus salad is best eaten and finished immediately. But if you foresee leftovers, don’t dress the salad all at once, and instead dress individual servings. Store leftover salad in an airtight container for 2 days. Remaining dressing should be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Visit our online shop to browse our organic spices (like the sumac used in this recipe), quality extra virgin olive oils, and more!