This Sicilian fennel orange salad is incredibly simple but has a fantastic mix of sweet juiciness and savory crunch. It makes a great side salad or light lunch.
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I know, a salad doesn't come as naturally to mind in the winter as in warmer months. Apart from if you're having a detox, of course (and this super green kale salad would be perfect for that, by the way).
However a winter salad that makes use of seasonal produce can be just the thing to break up heavier meals or as a side. Especially when they are bright and refreshing like this one.
You don't need many ingredients, but you still end up with a fantastic mix of textures and flavors. It's just the thing to perk up your plate in the winter months.
Wonderful winter salads
While there are some things I can eat any time of the year, in general I am a big fan of eating seasonally. I know some think winter can be a boring time for produce, but there are in fact more things around than you might think. And much of it works perfectly in salads.
For example, this farro salad includes some delicious roasted squash, radicchio and fennel. My winter fattoush has cauliflower and parsnip, and my winter beet salad has beets (funnily enough) as well as persimmon.
While Sicily may not be known for winter weather, it does produce some fantastic citrus. Fennel is also a popular ingredient and this salad shows both of them off at their best.
How to make this simple salad
As you can probably tell by now, it's super quick and easy to make. The fennel acts as your 'greens', with a lovely flavor and crunch. Just make sure you cut them nice and thin so they are easier to eat.
Segmenting the orange might seem a little fiddly, but it's easier than you might think and I believe worth it. It allows you to get rid of any tough membrane and just get all the juicy goodness.
The olives add a lovely contrast in flavor and the parsley a little extra fresh leafiness. Use red onion rather than any other as it's that bit sweeter. I'm not always a fan of onion in salad, but that little bit here does really work well. A simple lemon dressing rounds it all out perfectly.
This Sicilian fennel orange salad makes a great appetizer or side dish. It's robust enough that you can make it ahead, whether to take to a potluck or for lunch. However you enjoy it, it's fresh, with a lovely balance of juicy sweetness and savory crunch. Just what winter needs.
Try these other seasonal salad ideas:
- Vegan lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes
- Beet apple salad with maple vinaigrette
- Apple celeriac salad
- Plus get more winter recipes in the archives.
Sicilian fennel orange salad
- ½ bulb fennel medium-large or 1 small
- 1 orange
- ¼ red onion
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt approx
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper approx
- 2 tablespoon black olives (2tbsp is approx 8, eg kalamata)
- ½ teaspoon chopped parsley to garnish
- Cut the fennel bulb in half then trim the end and remove the core. Cut the remaining bulb in very thin slices, cutting larger slices in half. Stop slicing once you get to the greener part and discard the top or use for something else.
- Peel the orange with a knife so that you also remove the membrane on the outside of the flesh part. Cut down by the membranes on each segment to remove the segments without any membrane or white pith on them. Break larger pieces in half.
- Pell the chunk of red onion and finely slice it. Lay the fennel, onion and orange on a plate and gently mix together.
- Collect any juices from the orange, such as squeezing from the chopped-off membrane, and put them in a small bowl or jar (this is for the dressing). Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper then whisk or shake together. Drizzle over the salad.
- Top the salad with the olives and some torn/chopped parsley and serve.
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This post was first shared in February 2017 and has been updated, primarily with new photos.