5 Minute Recipes/ Entrees / Appetisers/ European/ Recipes/ Salad/ Side Dish/ Super Simple

4 Ingredient Italian Fennel and Orange Salad

03/08/2020 (Last Updated: 06/08/2020)

With only 4 ingredients, Italian Fennel and Orange Salad is the perfect salad recipe, ready in under 5 minutes. Crisp slices of fennel, juicy orange, and a splash of olive oil make this a refreshing side dish with a natural citrus vinaigrette.

Fennel and orange salad in a bowl, garnished with fresh fennel leaves.

Why We Love This

This fennel orange salad is juicy, refreshing and most importantly, fast to prepare. The crisp, almost liquorice flavour of fresh fennel is the perfect pairing with the orange’s citrus kick.

It’s an easy recipe that’s budget friendly, especially when fennel is in season. The orange and olive oil work together to make their own salad dressing, no extra effort required.

Orange and fennel slices in a bowl sprinkled with cracked black pepper.

What You’ll Need

Crispy, crunchy fennel pairs up with sweet, juicy orange slices in this popular Italian salad recipe. Top with a dash of high-quality olive oil and a good sprinkling of cracked black pepper and sea salt and you’re done.

  • Fennel This bulbous herb is actually a member of the carrot family – even though it looks much more like celery with dill-like leaves. Fennel is at its freshest (and cheapest) when in season during autumn / winter. Keep a look out at your local supermarket or farmer’s market. If you can, pick a bulb with fennel leaves as they make a great garnish on the salad. Substitute with fresh celery or Chinese cabbage (bok choy). You could also experiment with a good sprinkling of powdered fennel or anise seeds to give that classic fennel “liquorice” flavour to the dish.
  • Orange – Naval oranges work beautifully in this dish. For a unique look, swap it out for blood oranges.
All the ingredients laid out for fennel and orange salad.

How to Make It:

  1. Pop your crispy fennel slices into a bowl and top with the juicy orange slivers.
  2. Pour in the olive oil and give everything a good stir.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. (Optional: Garnish with fresh fennel leaves.)

Serve immediately or within 1-2 hours. Make sure it’s chilled for the crispiest texture.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Use High Quality Ingredients – especially with oil, make sure to use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavour depth. Many basic vegetable oils bring almost no flavour to a dish.
  • To Slice the Fennel, first cut off all the stalks, then slice it in half from top to bottom. Cut a triangle shape from the centre of the bulb to remove the fibrous core. Then slice from top to bottom in strips.
  • Play with Texture by slicing the fennel super thin or extra thick to see which style you like best! Using a mandolin can give you nice thinly sliced fennel.
  • Fennel Tops – Save the tops of your fennel to use instead of salad greens, or pop them on top as a garnish.
A fresh fennel bulb

FAQs

What is fennel?

Surprisingly, while the fennel bulb looks a bit like celery, and the leaves look similar to dill, fennel is actually related to the carrot family. It’s best known for it’s classic anise/liquorice flavour and crunchy texture. Everything from the bulb to the stalks, leaves and seeds can be used in cooking, but for this recipe we’ll be using the bulb. Also known as sweet anise, fennel is a star ingredient in Italian cuisine – for good reason! It’s not only healthy, full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, it also enhances the flavour of your dish!

How do you choose the perfect fennel?

Fennel is in season from fall/august through winter. For the tastiest, crispest fennel, choose a medium size fennel with smooth, firm, white skin and no brown spots. If the fennel is too large or old, it can loose its bright fresh flavour.

What goes with fennel and orange salad?

Pair this salad with grilled chicken or pork, or seafood dishes such as grilled salmon or prawns.  Italian cuisine or heavier dishes are a great place to start, so why not check out our Italian Dry Salt Roast ChickenNo-Cream Carbonara or Ragu.

Can this salad be made in advance?

Fennel and orange salad is best eaten within 1-2 hours of preparation. Keep it in the fridge until just before serving so the fennel stays nice and crunchy. It will be fine to eat the next day – it will just be a little juicier from the oranges and salt mixing.

Variations

  • Add Extra Greens – Try adding fresh rocket / arugula, radicchio, mint or basil.
  • Add Extra Bite – Add a splash of red wine vinegar or verjuice for a nice tart note alongside the citrus, or top with parmesan or feta cheese.
  • Red Onion – Red onion is a popular addition, if using, make sure to macerate in some reserved orange juice before adding to the salad.
  • More Veggies – Cucumber, roasted asparagus, capsicum or olives all work well in this salad.
  • Nuts – For crunch, top with a sprinkling of shaved almonds, pine nuts, pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Fennel and orange slices in a bowl with cracked black pepper.

So there you have it! A super simple, seriously delicious salad. Just 4 ingredients, and only 5 minutes? It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Want more fresh salad ideas? These are some of our favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Bowl of fresh orange fennel salad garnished with pepper.

4 Ingredient Italian Fennel and Orange Salad

With only 4 ingredients, Italian Fennel and Orange Salad is the perfect salad recipe, ready in under 5 minutes. Crisp slices of fennel, juicy orange, and a splash of olive oil make this a refreshing side dish with a natural citrus vinaigrette.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 side serves
Calories: 95kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb fennel washed and sliced into small, thin strips
  • 1 orange peeled and sliced into thin slivers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pop your crispy fennel slices into a bowl and top with the juicy orange slivers.
  • Pour in the olive oil and give everything a good stir.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. (Optional: Garnish with fresh fennel leaves.)
  • Serve immediately or within 1-2 hours. Make sure it's chilled for the crispiest texture.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Use High Quality Ingredients – especially with oil, make sure to use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavour depth. Many basic vegetable oils bring almost no flavour to a dish.
  • To Slice the Fennel, first cut off all the stalks, then slice it in half from top to bottom. Cut a triangle shape from the centre of the bulb to remove the fibrous core. Then slice from top to bottom in strips.
  • Play with Texture by slicing the fennel super thin or extra thick to see which style you like best! Using a mandolin can give you nice thinly sliced fennel.
  • How do you choose the perfect fennel? Fennel is in season from fall/august through winter. For the tastiest, crispest fennel, choose a medium size fennel with smooth, firm, white skin and no brown spots. If the fennel is too large or old, it can loose its bright fresh flavour.
  • What goes with fennel and orange salad? Pair this delicious orange and fennel salad with grilled chicken or pork, or seafood dishes such as grilled salmon or prawns.  Italian cuisine is a great place to start, so why not check out our Italian Dry Salt Roast Chicken or this super creamy No-Cream Carbonara.
  • Can this salad be made in advance? Fennel and orange salad is best eaten within 1-2 hours of preparation. Keep it in the fridge until just before serving so the fennel stays nice and crunchy. It will be fine to eat the next day – it will just be a little juicier from the orange and salt mixing.
  • Add Extra Greens – Try adding fresh rocket / arugula, radicchio, mint or basil.
  • Add Extra Bite – Add a splash of red wine vinegar or verjuice for a nice tart note alongside the citrus, or top with parmesan or feta cheese.
  • Red Onion – Red onion is a popular addition, if using, make sure to macerate in some reserved orange juice before adding to the salad.
  • More Veggies – Cucumber, roasted asparagus, capsicum or olives all work well in this salad.
  • Nuts – For crunch, top with a sprinkling of shaved almonds, pine nuts, pepitas or sunflower seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
4 Ingredient Italian Fennel and Orange Salad

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Steph @ Steph in Thyme
    20/06/2016 at 10:47 pm

    5 stars
    I’m obsessed with fennel. It’s so refreshing and pairs so well with citrus. This looks divine!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/06/2016 at 10:35 am

      It’s like a match made in heaven isn’t it?? Thanks Steph, hope you enjoy! 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/06/2016 at 11:12 am

      Awesome Steph! We were always lovers of licorice, and then when we found fennel – mind blown – haha!

  • Reply
    Jessica {Swanky Recipes}
    19/06/2016 at 5:58 am

    5 stars
    I love a good salad recipe. With it heating up outside, I don’t like to eat anything too heavy for lunch or dinner and often find myself making mostly salads during the summer months. This recipe sounds incredible!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/06/2016 at 4:22 pm

      Us too Jessica, the last thing you want in summer is an hour in front of the stove. Five minutes for a cooling salad sounds much more to our liking! 😛

  • Reply
    Donna
    19/06/2016 at 2:16 am

    5 stars
    Oh yum, I will be trying this soon for sure. I have been growing my own fennel this year, and the garden has just exploded with so much of it I cant keep up – always looking for new recipes to use it in, so this will be perfect 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/06/2016 at 4:21 pm

      Oh so jealous Donna, nothing like fresh produce straight from the garden, especially one so flavourful as fennel. Hope you enjoy and let us know how you go! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    18/06/2016 at 7:12 am

    5 stars
    I love fresh and simple recipes like this one. I wonder what it would taste like if I added a tiny dusting of chilli flakes in too.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/06/2016 at 4:20 pm

      Oooooh GREAT idea, definitely trying this next time! 😀

  • Reply
    Tara
    18/06/2016 at 12:14 am

    Yum! I am always looking for new ways to use fennel. This looks so light and refreshing. Love how easy it is to put together.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/06/2016 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Tara! It’s such an under-utilised ingredient, we can’t wait to try more delicious ways to use it! 🙂

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