This Shaved Fennel-Citrus Salad is bejeweled with juicy orange segments and adorned with feathery wisps of fennel fronds. Thin shavings of crisp anise flavored fennel are combined with delicate toothed leaves of peppery arugula and gently tossed in a light citrus vinaigrette.
This is one of my favorite salads to make, serve and eat. The ingredient list is simple and easy to prepare. Shaved fennel-citrus salad is uniquely beautiful and a welcome change from the standard “mixed greens”. It’s fresh, clean flavors are so refreshing that I often serve it along side a rich, heavy meal or between courses as a palate cleanser.
As with many salads the ingredients are delicate and best assembled just before serving. If you prep the ingredients in advance, assembly is a snap. The most finicky part of this salad is getting the perfect vinaigrette to salad ratio. Too little vinaigrette and it tastes like you just ate a bowl of fiber and chlorophyll, too much and your beautifully crisp salad becomes soggy, wilted and cloying.
The trick is to add a little vinaigrette at a time, gently tossing in between each addition until the salad is thoroughly but ever so lightly coated. Top with orange segments and sprinkle with fennel fronds. Promptly serve and enjoy. Happy salad making!
- 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
- 1/2 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Pernod or gin
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 fennel bulb (cored and thinly shaved on the finest or second to finest setting on a mandolin, reserve the fronds for garnish.)
- 3 large oranges (segmented, juices reserved)
- 2-3 cups of baby arugula
- 1/2-1/4 cup fennel fronds
- In med- small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (such as a mason jar) combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and shake vigorously until everything is homogenized into a dressing. Set aside.
- using a very sharp knife segment the oranges one at a time.
- start by cutting off both ends of the orange revealing the flesh. Stand the orange upright and slice off the peel and pith removing as little flesh as possible.
- Hold the orange over a bowl to catch the juices and then using your knife at a slight angle cut between the membrane to remove the orange segments.
- Continue until all of the segments have been removed. Squeeze the remaining juices from the remaining membrane to use in the vinaigrette.
- Cut the green stems from the bulb, reserve the fronds and discard the stems.
- Cut out the core of the fennel bulb and discard.
- Using the mandolin, shave the bulb into thin slices. Be extremely careful of your digits. The mandolin is very sharp!
- In a large decorative bowl, pour a little of the vinaigrette into the bottom, the arugula and the shaved fennel. Toss to combine and coat. Add vinaigrette in small additions until everything is coated but not saturated.
- Arrange the orange segments decoratively over the salad and sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds.
- Serve immediately