This Italian Fennel and Orange salad is so refreshing. It's one of my favourite things to eat. Period. I love nothing more than a simple piece of roasted fish or chicken accompanied by this crunchy, sweet salad. And this fennel & orange salad recipe is so easy too. There's hardly anything to it - making it an impressive and super simple and healthy throw together whatever the occasion!
Fennel & Orange - a classic combination
Italians know what flavours work together! I am not going to argue with them on this pairing. I love the crunch of fennel, but it's the sweet aniseed flavour that I like the most. The combination of tart orange with fennel is timeless. This recipe brings together two amazing flavours into one harmonious dish.
What kind of orange should I use?
For the tastiest results, I choose Valencia oranges - they have a tartness with a balance of sweetness and not too much sour - they're also very juicy, which is a good thing! When they're in season, I'll also make this salad using Sumo Citrus - which have the most amazing flavour!
I don't have oranges - what else can I use?
If life is not giving me oranges, I will also make this salad using apples. A good crunchy apple like Pink Lady or Golden Delicious works a treat. I just squeeze a little lemon juice on the peeled apple slices or julienne pieces to keep them from turning brown. In the past I've also substituted oranges with pears and peaches too. The premise is - keep the fennel, change the fruit!
When it comes to the herbs, you can get creative too. I'll often switch those up too. In this recipe it is my favourite; dill and mint, but sometimes I'll use combinations of parsley, marjoram, oregano, tarragon and thyme. You get the gist... this recipe is versatile!
What to serve with Fennel & Orange Salad
I love to pair it with fish - it also marries real well with pork. I'll bbq a juicy chop and serve with a big bowl of mini potatoes and it's pretty much as close to perfection as it gets. It's a versatile salad that will work well alongside others like my tried and tested go-to Tomato Salad or my infamous Beetroot & Feta Salad with Fresh Herb Dressing. And you don't just have to stick to Italian pairings - try these Spanish Chicken Skewers with Fino Sherry - they work marvellously with all these salads.
So, next time the sun's out - prepare this and chill in the fridge 'til you're ready - it's so crunchy and refreshing. As salads go, this one is sweet!
How to make my Fennel & Orange Salad
- 4 oranges (segmented)
- 1 fennel bulb (trimmed, cored and finely sliced)
- 1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 lemon (juice of)
- 1 tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
- Salt & pepper
- Combine the sliced fennel, oranges, onion, dill and mint in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the retained orange juice with the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar then pour over the salad.
- Toss gently to combine and you're done.
- Serve alongside a delicious steak, some BBQ pork or chicken or a grilled fish. But this salad pairs well with everything.
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