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Blood orange and fennel salad. A winter passe-partout

When I forget to cook our lunch or dinner – believe me, it happens – fennel becomes my best friend. I buy fennel bulbs by the box at the market, I choose the chubby ones, as they are more tender, firm to the touch, with bright tops. I stash them into the fridge for those moments of forgetfulness.

When the meal I’m planning to put on the table is somehow too frugal, I quarter a fennel bulb and pile it onto a plate, serving it along a little bowl containing extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. This is what we call pinzimonio, a way to indulge in the freshest raw vegetables, dipping them in your best olive oil.

Blood orange and fennel salad

Fennels marry beautifully another seasonal ingredient, oranges, especially blood oranges.

A fennel and blood orange salad is my winter go-to side dish, especially when the main course is either grilled fish or pork chops. When I forget that I have a meal to prepare, though, this salad welcomes other ingredients and becomes a main. My favourite addition is crumbled feta cheese, but I like to add also anchovies or herrings, or a buffalo mozzarella, if you listen to Tommaso. Have ready some crusty bread, and more olive oil.

Blood orange and fennel salad.
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4.5 from 4 votes

Orange and fennel salad

This orange and fennel salad is a winter passe-partout, a seasonal side-dish but also an interesting main course when combined with cheese. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword fennel, orange, salad
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 4 people as a side dish, 2 as a main


  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 blood oranges
  • a handful of black olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Rinse the fennel bulb and slice it thinly, including the tops. Tommaso prefers thicker slices, so that they can be slightly crunchy.
  • Peel the oranges and slice them. 
  • Collect in a bowl the sliced fennel and oranges and a handful of black olives. 
  • Dress the salad with your best extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately, otherwise it will become quickly watery. 
Tried this recipe?We love to see your creations! Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable!


Blood orange and fennel salad

Serve this blood orange and fennel salad with…

I know, I told you this is the recipe I make when I forget I have to cook dinner. Should I have time to plan a meal, though, I’d start with tagliatelle with romanesco and anchovies and I’d make the butternut squash and lamb meatballs the star of my menu. This blood orange and fennel salad would be a nice side-dish. As it is still winter, a zabaione would close my meal. What would you serve this salad with?

  • Tagliatelle with romanesco, anchovies and burrata. The main protagonist is the romanesco. You can substitute it with cauliflower or the more common broccoli, although I find that this wonder of nature, the romanesco, so wonderful in its fractal conformation, has also the most delicate texture and creamy taste compared to the other cruciferous.
  • Butternut squash and lamb meatballs. The butternut squash and lamb meatballs have a distinctive flavour, they are moist and sweet, with a warm orange hue. Brighten them up with a spoonful of pesto and a few wedges of orange and serve them as a main or into a soft bun if you have leftovers.
  • Zabaione. Zabaione has such a long and fascinating story as it is made with ingredients which were easily available to families. It is relaxing and rewarding to make a zabaione, but it doesn’t even get close the pleasure of sharing it with someone you love in a cold winter day.

This is an unusually short blog post, but this week we’re brewing some exciting news, and we’re very late on other deadlines, too.

Come back here on Friday to celebrate 10 years of Juls’ Kitchen and discover our new exciting – and frightening! – project.

Winter in Tuscany

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This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Ciao Giulia! What a gorgeous recipe! Fennel and orange salad is also a staple dish at my house during the winter months. I am so excited to read about your next endeavor. I know it’s going to be fabulous! Your blog is one of my favorites to read and your writing, photography, and food styling is just beautiful. All that is left for me to do is make it to Toscana to finally meet you in person! 🙂 Un abbraccio. xx

  2. Orange salad, with or without fennel, Has been a top favorite forever. My variation is to infuse the oil with some garlic for a few minutes first. Also squeeze the end slices of orange to get a little juice.

  3. 5 stars
    This is so refreshing and a welcome change from the romaine salad I usually make. We use fennel in our salads but pairing it with oranges makes it so special. Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    With such a simple list of ingredients (I didn’t have any olives) the result was magical. I always cooked fennel before. This was for the first time that I tried it raw, and I loved its subtle taste and aroma. My blood oranges were really dark colored, almost like beets. They gave the salad unbelievable color striking effect. You can tell I fell in love with the recipe, as in the past week I made it twice already. I never had a salad before that impressed me so much. Thank you, Giulia! With your help I felt like a kitchen goddess 🙂

    1. Dear Inna, thank you so so much for your message. You moved me to tears, as this is exactly the reason why I love to share recipes on the blog!

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