Orange Fennel Salad

January 10th, 2008


Here’s the thing: as much as I love licorice, I don’t always love foods that have a “licorice-y” taste.  I was so excited to roast fennel because I thought I would just adore it, but when I finally did, I was underwhelmed.  So I didn’t go into this salad with high expectations, to say the least.

And, boy, was I wrong.  I found myself picking pieces of fennel off of other people’s plates and out of the serving bowl (I know, I am so gross)!  Thinly slicing the bulbs was crucial — the thick wedges I had cut to roast never got tender enough.

The dressing was a big success, as well.  For grilling, roasting, or other cooking at high temperatures, regular olive oil will do, since the high heat will destroy the subtle flavors of extra virgin olive oil. But for salad dressings, finishing soups or sauces, and other low-heat uses, extra virgin is crucial. We learned in cooking class that a proper vinaigrette always has a ratio of 1 parts emulsifier (mustard or egg yolk, for instance) to 2 parts acidic liquid (vinegar, citrus juice) to 4 parts oil. I’m not wedded to that ratio for everything, but it worked well here.

Finally, even though it is midway into January, I want to (belatedly) post some of the pictures I took around the holidays. So, although we’ve all taken down our trees and put away the decorations until next year, I still feel a little bit Christmas-y looking at these.


Fennel and Orange Salad

4 medium-sized oranges
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 shallot, minced
2 tbsp dijon-style mustard
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cups field greens, washed and dried
Coarse sea salt, as desired
Freshly ground pepper, as desired

1. Peel the oranges with a knife to remove all the peel. Cut the oranges into segments, cutting around the white “dividers” between orange segments.
2. In a small saute pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel slices. Saute until fennel has softened.
3. In a small bowl, combine minced shallot, mustard, lemon and orange juice, zest and salt and pepper, as desired.  Slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Whisk until blended.Â
4. In a large serving bowl, mix lettuce, oranges, fennel and dressing. Toss to coat evenly, and serve.

Serves 8 as an appetizer.


Tags: food · salads

32 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Az Azura // Jan 10, 2008 at 9:53 am

    orange fennel salad , I love fennel because it helps my joints and I love orange for its high content of vitamin C, so this is definitely the salad for me :o)

  • 2 Happy Cook // Jan 10, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I love fennel.
    Last year i made lasagne fromthese and they were delicious. Sadly lost the recipe.
    Love the salade

  • 3 katy // Jan 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Az Azura — Excellent!  I hope you like it!

    Happy Cook — How sad that the recipe is gone, because that sounds amazing!

  • 4 Deborah // Jan 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I just read another blog with a fennel post, and was saying that I need to give it a try again. I’m not a licorice fan, so I always steer clear of it, but I should make this, and maybe it will change my mind!

  • 5 Manisha // Jan 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Hey there! I’m glad you dropped by my blog cos I found you in return!

    If you like fennel, you might like this fennel bean soup that I have bookmarked from a fellow local blogger’s site.

    I also wanted to tell you that I *love* your picture of wine. I love the way it drips back into the globe and the bokeh is simply excellent!

  • 6 Katie // Jan 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Great photos!  I’ve been curious as to why you haven’t posted since Dec. 2.  Now I know.  I can be a little slow when I’m frazzled.  I’ll update..
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll catch up!

  • 7 katy // Jan 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Deborah — http:/// just did a fennel salad a few days ago!  I loved her idea of using apple in it — I might try that next time!

    Manisha — that soup looks delicious!  And thank you about the picture!

    Katie — GAH — that was my fear of what would happen when I moved to my new blog address!  I just updated the old blog with a very late “I’ve moved” post, in addition to the automatic redirection.  Sorry about that!

  • 8 Emiline // Jan 10, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Orange and fennel are excellent together.  This is a perfect salad for this time of year.

    Pictures are great.  Especially the one of the cute cat.

  • 9 emily // Jan 10, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    hey missy…give credit where credit is due. who made this salad, who told you to behold the power of fennel!?!? haha well done…lovely lovely photos.  Roasted fennel is hard to beat, and goes surprisingly well with a citrus dressing.  this salad would also be quite lovely with a peppery arugala.  a key to any citrus dressing is fresh orange/lemon juice and most importantly lemon zest.

  • 10 Jen // Jan 10, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Katy,
    I love the combination of orange and fennel!  Whenever I’ve had it in the past, it’s always been with raw fennel.  I actually prefer cooked fennel over raw, so this sounds like it’s very much up my alley.  Also, I’d never thought to use egg yolk in a salad dressing–could you just do something like oil, vinegar, egg yolk?  or should you add other things based on your ’emulsifier’?

  • 11 katy // Jan 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Emiline — thank you!  The cute cat was adopted by me from the Center for Animal Care and Control in NYC when he was only five weeks old!  Then, two months later, the cleaning staff of the dorm I lived in discovered him, and threatened to evict me if I didn’t get rid of the cat!  Fortunately, I have very sweet, lifesaving, animal-loving parents, and they took him in and have taken care of him ever since!  But since I’d already posted pictures of my dogs in other entries, I figured that Groovy (the cat) needed to be shown off too!

    Emily — I know!  I actually have two posts that you basically created (I helped though!), and I had originally planned to post the other one first (I’m sure you can guess which dish I mean)!  That one mentions you, don’t worry.  I posted this one first because those Christmas photos are going to get more and more inappropriate as time goes on. 🙂 But this salad is definitely all you!  I even had to debate whether or not to put up the picture of you segmenting the oranges, but your chipped black nailpolish didn’t really match!  PS — Or mache? If only we could find some?  No arugula for me, thank you! 🙂

    Jen — Yes, you could do oil, vinegar and egg yolk!  The point of the emulsifier is that it binds to both the oil and vinegar, and prevents the vinaigrette from breaking.  Or you could just do oil and egg yolk, and make a mayonnaise based dressing!  One important thing to remember is to add any salt, pepper, spices, chopped garlic or shallots, etc., to the vinegar before the oil, because if you try to add them after adding the oil, the dressing will probably break!

  • 12 emily // Jan 11, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Oh right!! We wanted to serve it with mache!!  Another great salad with mache has grapefruit segments, a peppery-curry dressing, avocado, and hard boiled egg.  it is delicious….remember mom once made a salad with lambs lettuce bar boiiled broccoli florets and avocado…and a lemon vinaigrette I think it was…anyhow, endless combinations…but citrus in a salad, if you can segment it, is delicious…don’t limit yourself to pears and apples!! Segmenting is a monstrous pain though….Giada Dilaurentis makes it look easy on tv…it isn’t, and you have to waste alot of fruit…or you can just eat that part yourself…that’s what I did!! happy segmenting!!

  • 13 Tartelette // Jan 11, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I love raosted fennel…to the point of making my belly hurts! Great salad! Your pictures are gorgeous!

  • 14 Jess M (228 Brown) // Jan 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I remember that cat…. Thank God for your parents.  😉

  • 15 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Jan 11, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Well, I’ve been missing out because you moved and didn’t tell me.
    Love the salad and the Christmas photos Katy!  And I’m right with you with wine as comfort liquid even if I think most of the comfort comes from the company I drink the wine with.

  • 16 katy // Jan 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Tartelette — Thank you!

    Jess — I know!  They drove into NY in the snow to pick up poor Groovy.  But now my dad says that Groovy is his “best male friend.”  🙂

    Tanna — Oh no!  I should have put that “I’ve moved” post up so long ago, I can’t believe I didn’t.

  • 17 Hélène // Jan 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I just discovered your blog and like it already.  The salad looks really yummy.

  • 18 Hélène // Jan 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I just discovered your blog and like it already.  The salad looks really yummy.

  • 19 núria // Jan 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I never tried fennel in a salad. I don’t really use it to cook. But I know its taste, when going to the country side for the weekend when we were kids and having a fennel spring in my mouth.
    The combination with orange is shocking for me! No doubt is good though!
    Beautiful picture, Katy.

  • 20 núria // Jan 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I never tried fennel in a salad. I don’t really use it to cook. But I know its taste, when going to the country side for the weekend when we were kids and having a fennel spring in my mouth.
    The combination with orange is shocking for me! No doubt is good though!
    Beautiful picture, Katy.

  • 21 katy // Jan 12, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Helene — Thank you!

    Nuria — It was great.  Another good addition (that I just thought of!) would be to use some of the fennel fronds in with the lettuce!  I think that would be great.

  • 22 myfrenchkitchen // Jan 13, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Orange and fennel, what a beautiful combination…will defintley do this one

  • 23 Blackberry Pockets // Jan 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    This is my favorite salad recipe of the New Year! I added Cara Cara pink navel oranges to add another splash of color to the mix! So tasty.

  • 24 NuJoi // Jan 17, 2008 at 7:13 am

    This looks delicious.  I wish I’d seen it before I went grocery shopping.  Now I’ll be dreaming about it.  Beautiful photography.

  • 25 Doodee // Feb 1, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing

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    love your blog, yummy stuff that I can make without using a million ingredients 🙂

  • 28 Michelle // Feb 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Just found your blog while searching for an orange-fennel salad recipe…  used your recipe for Valentine’s Day and loved it.  Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

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