This simple Italian Orange and Fennel Salad is so elegant and festive yet couldn't be easier to make. It's bursting with flavor from fragrant thinly sliced fennel, juicy oranges and tangy pomegranate seeds. An easy homemade vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice, olive oil and a just a touch of Italian seasonings ties it all together. This salad recipe makes a beautiful holiday appetizer and is healthy and delicious enough to enjoy all winter long!
Italian Orange and Fennel Salad Ingredients
- Oranges (Segments + Fresh Juice) - You need nice juicy oranges for this recipe! I prefer using Naval oranges because I find them to be the juiciest.
- Fennel- Has the slightest hint of licorice and together with the sweetness of the oranges is a match made in heaven! (Don't forget to save the fennel fronds which are those green feather-like stems). They add flavor and look beautiful as a garnish. Fennel holds up nicely even when dressing is added. So, you can make this salad up to 4-6 hours ahead of time and keep it refrigerated.
- Pomegranate Seeds- Look like little sparkling ornaments and add another layer of sweetness, texture and visual appeal to this salad.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil- As always, a good quality extra-virgin olive oil is well worth the cost as it will make a huge difference in the overall flavor of the salad.
- Italian Seasonings Blend- I use Simply Organic Italian Seasonings Blend. But you can also use a pinch of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary or a blend of these.
- Salt and Pepper- A touch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper will amplify the flavors.
How To Make Italian Orange and Fennel Salad
- Cut the fennel- If you are intimidated by fennel, don't be. It's super easy once you know how and is pretty easy to slice. Click here to watch a quick video on how to cut fennel.
- Peel and slice oranges- You'll need to segment the oranges for the main body of the salad. Click here if you need tips on how to properly slice and orange.
- Make the dressing- Whisk together juice, olive oil, seasonings, salt, pepper and chopped fennel fronds.
- Assemble the salad. In a bowl toss together the fennel, oranges, pomegranate and the dressing.
Reasons To Love This Italian Orange and Fennel Salad
- It's a naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free recipe (great for entertaining).
- Refreshing and light.
- Colorful and festive winter salad recipe.
- You can make it ahead of time.
- Simple and easy to make.
- Contains essential immune supporting nutrients.
Salad Substitutions and Add Ons
Blood oranges also work really well in this salad. Pears, grapes, lemons (lemon juice) and even grapefruit also compliment fennel very nicely. For even more flavor try adding in some sliced pitted olives for a salty kick.
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Italian Orange and Fennel Salad
- 6 cups fennel 2-3 medium- large bulbs, stems and tough outer parts removed then thinly sliced (save some of the fronds)
- few sprigs of fennel fronds a few pieces chopped + some more for garnishing the salad
- 2 cups orange segments you'll need about 3 oranges total (2 for the salad and another one for the juice)
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning blend
- To a large bowl add the sliced fennel, orange segments and pomegranate seeds.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, olive oil, dried seasonings and fennel fronds.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and give it a few tosses.
- Garnish with fennel fronds and season to taste.