Classic Fennel and Orange Salad is an Italian classic for a reason. I love the crunchy anise flavor of the fennel and the sweetness of the oranges. This salad is easy to toss together quickly.
Try different varieties of Oranges in Classic Fennel and Orange Salad
You can use any type of orange that is sweet and flavorful in this salad. You’ll just want the oranges to be medium or large in size as you will be sectioning them. When they are too small, the sections will be very tiny. This time I used a navel orange and a blood orange. Blood oranges are quite seasonal so when I see them I make sure to buy them. Along with their lovely red color, blood oranges have a delicious raspberry edge to their flavor.
The dressing is simply the juice of the oranges that were sectioned for the salad along with some lemon juice and olive oil.
Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables
I remember the first time I ever ate fennel. Joe’s sister, Marie, had a big family gathering and she had some raw pieces of fennel in a small bowl next to the salad. I tried it and fell in love immediately! It has a crunchy texture similar to celery and a very light licorice-like flavor. According to the Italians, fennel aids in digestion. Joe’s grandfather (Nannu) used to serve bowls of fennel after dinner. Now we know why!
Fennel is a very versatile and under used vegetable. It is a bulb which is harvested in the cooler months, although I’m starting to see it year round in grocery stores. Trader Joe’s sells it in a package of two, so I usually make it a couple different ways when I buy it. Fennel is great in a salad, but also in a gratin, roasted, sautéed or even pickled.