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Fennel and orange salad: the original recipe

Photo: Claudia Concas

Fennel and orange salad: the original recipe

Fresh aromatic flavours, follow our step by step instructions for preparing fennel and orange salad. 

14 December, 2020
Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

Type of dish

Dietary Consideration

Season & Occasion

serves for


total time

0 HR 20 MIN


2, large
Olive oil
50 ml
Black olives
100 g, pitted
Wild fennel
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper


All the flavours of the Mediterranean come together in fennel and orange salad. This is a very simple yet beautifully balanced recipe. Fennel and orange salad is one of the iconic recipes of Mediterranean cuisine for the winter season.  Fresh and crisp, this fabulous salad can be served up on its own as a light meal, as a side dish for roast meats and stews, but also as a starter for festive lunches and dinners. Here are all the secrets of fennel and orange salad.

Step 01

Fennel for Fennel and Orange Salad

Photo: Claudia Concas

Wash the fennel bulbs and cut them into fine slices. Plunge the slices into a bowl of water and ice. This will make the fennel even crisper. 

Step 02

orange for Fennel and Orange Salad

Photo: Claudia Concas

Remove the top and bottom of the oranges and, using a very sharp knife, remove the peel and white membrane. At this point the orange flesh will be exposed.

Step 03

segments of orange for Fennel and Orange Salad

Photo: Claudia Concas

With a small sharp kitchen knife, cut through the segments first on one side and then on the other. In this way, you will obtain segments of pulp with no trace of white membrane.  


Step 04

orange juice for Fennel and Orange Salad

Photo: Claudia Concas

What now remains of the orange contains the juice you are going to use in the dressing so squeeze it thoroughly into a bowl. Prepare an emulsion from the orange juice, oil, salt and pepper. 

Step 05

plating the Fennel and Orange Salad

Photo: Claudia Concas

Cut the spring onion into fine slices. At this point, you may proceed to strain the fennel and place it in a serving dish, add the orange segments, the wild fennel and the olives. Dress with the oil and orange juice emulsion and serve.  


The fennel may be sliced even finer if you use a mandoline slicer. Use quality oranges for eating at the table rather than those sold for their juice because in this case the flesh will be more compact and suitable for this recipe.  This is a vegan recipe and, as such, perfect for inclusion in an all vegetable menu.  


In traditional Italian cuisine, there are not many variants to this recipe but you may enrich it with more pungent spices such as paprika or ginger in powder form.  

Interesting facts

This method for segmenting an orange is known as “a vivo” (meaning live) in Italian catering talk. In the 80’s, when fruit was served in restaurants at the end of a meal, the waiter would exhibit his skills before the client with rapid and precise movements, wearing white gloves, which were in no way allowed to get stained. Using nothing but a knife and fork, he would peel and prepare oranges, pineapples, bananas, apples, pears and many other types of fruit. Peeling oranges “a vivo” is a useful method for obtaining citrus segments, also when making desserts.  




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