This awesome Orange Fennel Arugula Salad is ideal to serve with spicy or rich foods. The zesty orange blends perfectly with the delicate flavor of fennel and the peppery arugula.
Simple and Satisfying: A Recipe to Try
I love this recipe of arugula fennel and orange salad. It goes well with a lot of things and it is perfect for any time of the year.
We learned to love this salad in the middle of the winter when not too many vegetables taste good, but fennel and oranges are in season.
However, I enjoy making this recipe even in the summer, as we eat lots of salads when it's too hot outside to cook.
I wish I could tell you which one of the following ingredients is the star of this salad. Each one of them is unique, but together they create a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures.
- Arugula- Arugula is peppery, delicate, a little bit pungent. If you don't like arugula, try baby spinach for a change. It is not going to be the same, but it will be good too.
- Oranges- Navel oranges are the choice of oranges in this recipe, as they are sweet, juicy, and seedless. However, other types of citrus are perfectly acceptable. Blood oranges are popular, but who says that grapefruit is not a good choice if you like it? go for it.
- Fennel- Slicing the fennel bulb really thin is very important. Fennel brings not only texture to the salad, as it is crunchy, but also a mild, pleasant taste of anise, which complements the sweetness of the orange and the peppery taste of the arugula.
Nuts- Some people like to add nuts, like I did, for extra crunch. Pecans or walnuts are my choices, but pine nuts are an interesting addition as well.
Olives- I have this Spanish recipe of only fennel and oranges with a touch of red onion. Olives are a great addition to this salad. It doesn't matter what kind you use. I personally like both black and green olives. They bring lots of flavor to the salad.
For the dressing, things are very simple:
- Extra virgin olive oil- Choose the best olive oil you can afford.
- Balsamic Vinegar- if you do not have balsamic vinegar in the pantry, use any vinegar you would use for your salads. I like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar.
- Garlic- It needs to be crushed and mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
- Salt and Pepper
- Optional: a touch of honey or sugar to balance the vinegar.
How to make the salad
Step 1. Fennel
Use a mandolin for slicing the fennel if you have one. Otherwise, use a sharp knife to slice it the thinnest possible. Fennel bulb is a sturdy vegetable, and slicing it thin will create a balance with the delicate arugula.
Step 2. Oranges
Peel the oranges, removing all the white pith. Slice them into thin rounds or segment them. Do this on top of a bowl to collect the juices. You can use them in the salad.
Step 3. Put the ingredients together
Grab a bowl and throw together the arugula, fennel, oranges and olives.
Step 4. Make the dressing
I like doing this in a jar. Pour oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper, optional a little bit of honey or sugar. Close the jar with the lid and shake well until the mixture emulsifies and salt, sugar/honey are dissolved.
Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well, and sprinkle the nuts over. Serve immediately.
This recipe would be good with roasted meat, like roasted chicken, or roasted pork. Keep it simple and enjoy it!
How to store this Orange Fennel Arugula Salad
It is best to consume the salad fresh. If you need to store it, keep the dressing separate and combine just before serving.
Store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
The dressing can last up to a week in the fridge.
To keep arugula crisp, toss it with dressing just before serving and not too far in advance.
Yes, the dressing can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Give it a good shake or whisk before pouring over the salad.
Look for bulbs that are firm, clean, and solid without splits, browning, or spotting. The green part should be bright color and fresh looking.
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Orange Fennel Arugula Salad
- 2 oranges peeled and sliced
- 1 fennel bulb sliced thinly
- 4 ounces bag of baby arugula
- ⅓ cup black olives pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey OR ½ teaspoon sugar
- Peel the oranges, removing all the white pith. Slice them into thin rounds or segment them.
- Trim the fennel bulb, cut it in half lengthways and slice across the bulb as thinly as possible. A mandolin or a food processor works as well.
- Grab a large salad bowl and combine the baby arugula, slices of oranges, fennel, and olives.
- Make the dressing: Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the salad, toss together and allow it to stand for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts and serve right away.