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Fennel and Orange Salad with Niçoise Olives Recipe

Fennel and Orange Salad with Niçoise Olives Recipe

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  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 2 oranges
  • 6 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Nicoise olives, pitted and sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Using a mandolin, slice the bulbs thinly into a bowl of ice water. Using a paring knife, peel away the rind and pith from the orange. Working over a bowl, with a paring knife, slice in between the membranes and remove the orange segments.* Set aside and reserve the juice.

Drain the fennel from the ice water and dry on paper towels (or in a salad spinner). Place the fennel in a mixing bowl and dress with the reserved orange juice, orange segments, extra-virgin olive oil, and olives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss and serve on a chilled plate.

Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving37

Folate equivalent (total)20µg5%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 heads fennel, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise, and 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fennel fronds
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sherry-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper

Remove peel and pith from the oranges using a sharp paring knife. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, carefully cut between membranes, to remove segments. Squeeze remaining membrane to extract juice, reserving 1 tablespoon.

In a medium bowl, combine orange segments, fennel, fennel fronds, and olives set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together reserved orange juice, vinegar, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over salad, tossing gently to combine. Serve immediately.


  • Slice the onion half lengthwise as thinly as you can. Put the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with cold water to mellow its flavor and keep it crisp. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Working with one orange at a time, slice off both ends. Set the orange on a cutting board, one cut side down. With a sharp knife, cut away the peel (the zest and white pith) by slicing from top to bottom, following the contour of the orange. Working over a bowl to collect any juice, release the orange segments by carefully cutting them away from the membrane that separates them. Remove any seeds and put the orange segments in another bowl, separate from the juice. Squeeze the membranes over the juice bowl.
  • Cut the fennel in quarters lengthwise and then trim away most of the core, leaving just enough intact to keep the layers together. Slice the quarters lengthwise as thinly as you can.
  • With a paring knife, slice the olive flesh off the pits lengthwise. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. (The recipe can be prepared up to this point several hours in advance. If working ahead, wrap and refrigerate the fennel don’t chop the mint until just before serving.)
  • Drain the sliced onion and toss it with the fennel. Put the fennel and onion in a shallow salad bowl or on a rimmed serving platter. Drizzle with the reserved orange juice. Arrange the orange segments on top and sprinkle with the olives and mint.
  • Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad. Add several grinds of black pepper and serve immediately.

Serve this salad with roasted or grilled seafood.

Recipe Notes

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Fennel Salad with Oranges and Olives

4 blood oranges (may substitute 3 Cara Cara or other navel oranges)
2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced, plus a few fronds reserved for garnish
1/2 cup pitted black olives, such as Kalamata or Sicilian cured olives, cut in half
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the oranges into segments by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit. Stand each orange on one end and cut downward, following the contour of the fruit, to remove the peel and white pith.

Working over a bowl, use a paring knife to cut the fruit segments from their membranes. Separate the juice and the segments, reserving both. (There should be about 2 tablespoons of juice.)

Combine the orange segments in a large bowl with the fennel, olives and red onion, tossing to incorporate.

Whisk together the reserved orange juice, the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a liquid measuring cup to form an emulsified dressing. Pour over the salad and toss gently to coat.

Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. Serve right away.

Per serving: Calories 130 Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 1g) Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 200mg Total Carbohydrates 16g Dietary Fiber 4g Protein 2g


  • Sicilian or blood oranges – 2
  • Fennel bulb – 1 large, halved lengthwise, cored, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • Red onion – ½ cup very thinly sliced
  • Fresh mint – 12 leaves, torn in half – 3 tablespoons
  • Black olives – about 20


Cut the peel and pith from the oranges, then separate the segments. Toss the orange segments, fennel, onion, mint, and lemon olive oil and olives in a large bowl and mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper, and serve.

Orange, Fennel and Caper Salad

Contrasting and complementary flavors are the highlight of this Sicilian salad. The savoriness of the olives, capers and anchovies temper the sweetness of the oranges and fennel, while the onion adds pungency and the salty, yet mild cheese rounds everything out. We liked meaty and mild Castelvetrano olives from Sicily, but any large, firm green olive will do. To pit the olives, simply smash each with the flat side of a chef's knife, then pick out the pit. To make ahead, assemble the salad but hold back the oranges, which discolor if dressed too far in advance. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. When ready to serve, toss in the oranges, then transfer to a serving bowl or platter with tongs, leaving behind any accumulated liquid.


Rinse the fennel and pat dry, then remove the fronds. Remove the stalk. Thinly slice the fennel with a knife or a mandoline.

Peel the oranges, making sure to completely remove the bitter white pith. Remove the whole fruit segments. Save any juice created in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the remaining pulp into the bowl.

Peel, halve, and julienne the onions. Mix the orange juice with the honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt.

  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 medium navel or Valencia oranges
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 cups mixed lettuces, (3 small heads), such as chicory, radicchio and leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced
  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and sliced

To prepare vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Stir in olives and parsley.

To prepare salad: Using a sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from oranges. Quarter the oranges slice pieces crosswise.

Just before serving, combine lettuces, endive, fennel and the orange slices in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat well.

Make Ahead Tip: The vinaigrette will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Washed, dried lettuce will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Keep prepared oranges and fennel in separate containers in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours

Important: don’t section the orange with your fingers!

OK, before we start! Do not section the oranges with your fingers and throw the sections on top. This method is great for snacking, but a no-no for salads. Why? Sectioning the orange with your fingers keeps on the pith, which makes it very hard to eat with a knife and fork. For salads, there’s a different method entirely for sectioning an orange. It’s called…surpreming.

Yes, that’s right! There’s a fancy French method for cutting an orange for a salad called “cutting an orange into supremes”. It makes for perfectly peeled sections without the pith that are easy to eat! These are lovely for salads like this fennel orange salad or our Simple Citrus Salad.

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These were great. They were gone in minutes. Everyone wanted the recipe. They'll be a regular for sure.

Very satisfying and easy nibbles to start a dinner party.

fragrant, flavorful! warming the olives brings out a wonderful richness. this has replaced the traditional relish plate for all our holiday meals!

Delicious. Even tentative olive-eaters loved these and everyone asked me for the recipe.

I just made this for a small party of four and everyon enjoyed it very much. My only critique of the recipe is that I would cut the olives in half before heating as they become difficult to place on a cracker or chip otherwise. It was very easy and literally takes about 5 miuntes to prepare start to finish. The flavors are very nice and the orange and fennel are a wonderful touch.

Absolutely yummy and incredibly easy. My guests loved them. I'm wondering if if I can prepare the olive mix in advance and nuke them to warm them up, especially if I need to bring an appetizer to a party? Would it matter if the olives were pitted or not?

Took this to the Gourmet Dinner Club finale. BIG HIT. The flavor is subtle but lovely. I soaked olives twice so they weren't not overly briney. Quick to make & delicious.

Oh for crying out loud! I just read my previous review and I spelled genius wrong. Great. At least I can cook well.

I am 'known' for my olives. If asked, I will admit that I got the recipe from Epicurious, but if no one asks, they just assume I am a culinary genious. Ha!

A delious alternative for olive lovers. Even my husband(a staunch olive avoider) liked it.

I've made these over and over again and they're always a big hit.

This recipe is very different. Anyone who likes olives will love this recipe. It has become a fairly regular appetizer offering when I'm entertaining.

This is sophisticated and gorgeously easy. Every time I make it friends nearly swoon. My highest recommendation!!


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