Fennel, Avocado and Blood Orange Salad

Fennel, Avocado and Blood Orange Salad

When summer ends it seems to also mark the end our best salads.  But some of winter's best flavors can come together to make salad with a colorful and satisfying combination of tastes and textures.

In this salad the fresh and subtly licorice taste of raw fennel is a perfect match to tangy blood oranges and creamy avocado.  It's best to use a mandoline or ceramic slicer to cut the fennel into nearly paper-thin slices; cutting fennel by hand with a knife can produce coarse pieces that are harder to eat and will cause the fennel to dominate this salad.

If you dress the salad a few minutes before serving, the fennel slices become softer and thus easier to serve and eat.

If you can't find blood oranges, red or pink grapefruit make a good substitution.  



  1. Using a mandoline or ceramic slicer, slice the fennel into very thin slices. Add to a serving bowl.
  2. Use a knife to peel the oranges completely of their skins and pith, leaving only the juicy pulp. With a sharp knife, cut out the orange wedges and add them to the sliced fennel.
  3. Before discarding what remains of the oranges, squeeze out any juice into a small bowl. You'll use this to make the citrus vinaigrette.
  4. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and with a soup spoon, scoop out the two halves; cut the avocado into large chunks and add to the bowl with the fennel and orange segments.
  5. Measure about 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and place in a small bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced shallot, hot mustard, salt, and grinds of black pepper. With a small whisk or fork, stir until emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning -- depending on how sweet or sour the oranges you may want to add a little more vinegar.
  6. Pour the dressing over the fennel, orange, and avocado and gently toss to coat. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving so that the salt and acid in the dressing helps soften the fennel.
  7. Serve immediately.




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