Sweet oranges, tart ruby pomegranate seeds, buttery avocado, peppery arugula and fennel make for a refreshing and healthy winter salad. Try this fennel salad with orange vinaigrette. It's a bright and nourishing way to delight your taste buds.
What is Fennel?
Fennel is a vegetable with a sweet, mildly licorice flavor that many people are not familiar with. Time to get acquainted! Fennel is a pale greenish white bulb with celery like stalks on top that have feathery green fronds. You will find fennel as large as baseballs and small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Fennel is great raw in salads or cooked until tender. I also use them in my green juices. People ask, can you eat fennel raw in salads? Absolutely and it's delicious!
Other Salad Ingredients
In stores almost year round, oranges are a winter season fruit. This salad uses whole orange slices, so you get the delicious sweetness and fiber plus vitamin C, but potassium, folate, and thiamin, mineral and antioxidants.
Despite the sugar content, oranges are pretty low on the glycemic index scale, ranging from 31-51. Pomegranates are still in season, so add those ruby jewels of the produce world to your salad, for not only visual appeal, but terrific taste and nutrition.
Avocados add healthy, creamy fat and incredible flavor to anything. In season now are the thin-skinned Fuerte avocados. In season through March, Fuerte's are a brighter green, have more of a pear shape, and smoother skin than their pebbly Hass cousins. Fuerte avocados are flat out buttery and delicious. I just skin them and eat them with lemon pepper.
If you don't live in California, you might not see these beauties but you can ship a batch. Check out this link.
How to Cut Up Fennel
If you've never cut up fennel it can be a little daunting, but dive in. You'll get the hang of it. To cut up fennel, trim off the top ribs or stalks, saving the feathery stuff for garnish if you want. Next, slice a little off the root end.
Next, cut the bulb in half top to bottom, then cut out the pyramid shaped core with a sharp small knife. Lay the bulb flat and thinly slice as a crunchy addition to this salad. To finish, dress the salad with a fresh orange vinaigrette. Alternatively shave the fennel thin with a small handheld slicer or mandoline.
Not only does this fennel salad recipe use slices of whole orange, I juice it and make a bright refreshing orange vinaigrette. It's perfect with the greens, fennel, avocado and pomegranate.
Other Fennel Recipes
Looking for other ideas on what to do with fennel? Juice it! It's wonderful in this celery fennel green juice.
Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
- 1 medium fennel bulb save feathery fronds for garnish
- 1 large orange
- 1 large ripe avocado peeled and quartered
- 5-6 ounces baby arugula leaves 1 package
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ orange juiced
- 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- To prep the fennel – Trim top stalks off of the fennel bulbs, flush with the top of the bulb. Save the feathery fronds for garnish. Save the stalks for another use such as green juicing. Trim the bottom of the bulb, then slice in half top to bottom. Next, cut out the pyramid shaped core (if there is one). The larger the bulb the more core it will have. Small fennel bulbs hardly have that core. Lay flat halves and cut into thin slices.
- To prep the oranges for the salad, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the orange. Place the orange flat on the cutting board and cut away the peel, following the curve of the fruit with a sharp knife. Then slice the orange crosswise into slices. Pile greens on a plate. Top with orange slices, pomegranate seeds, avocado quarters and fennel.
- For dressing, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until smooth. Drizzle a few teaspoons over each salad and save any extra.