This roasted fennel salad is bright, fresh, and super flavorful. It’s made with toasted pine nuts and a combination of arugula and radicchio. All of which is topped off with homemade orange champagne vinaigrette. It’s simple to make and looks great on any table.
This roasted fennel salad is a re-creation of a dish we had at a local pizza joint here in Austin. We loved it so much, we had to make it ourselves! The toasted pine nuts add a nice nutty flavor while the combination of arugula and radicchio add color and texture. The avocado gives the salad a bit of creaminess and the oranges compliment the tangy orange champagne vinaigrette.
It’s simple to make and takes less than an hour to assemble. Have it for lunch, dinner, or alongside some homemade pizza! It’s great for summer or when you’re looking for something a bit more healthy.
- Fennel: We’ll be using half a bulb plus a whole stalk and some fennel sprigs.
- Arugula: This is the main base of the salad.
- Radicchio: It adds a nice bit of color and texture.
- Mint: For a bit of coolness.
- Avocado: You’ll need 1 large hass avocado diced into chunks.
- Orange: You’ll need 1 large orange for the salad and the vinaigrette.
- Pine Nuts: These add a nice nutty flavor, especially after toasting.
- Shaved Parmesan: We forgot to add some in the final pictures (oops!). Don’t forget to add some on top!
- Extra Light Olive Oil: Extra light is best because we don’t want to overpower the other flavors in the vinaigrette. You can also use safflower oil if you like.
- Champagne Vinegar: This is milder than white wine vinegar and adds a nice delicate flavor.
- Honey: This helps to balance out the acidity in the dressing and add a hint of sweetness.
- Shallot: Just ½ tbsp for the vinaigrette.
- Dijon Mustard: You’ll need 1 tsp.
- Salt + White Pepper: White pepper is less intense than black pepper and won’t add any black flecks to your dressing.
Once you’ve properly washed your fennel with water, cut the bulb in half (as pictured below) and slice into pieces. Cut the entire stalk into pieces as well, and save the fennel sprigs for later. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss in ½ tbsp of olive oil before roasting in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 450°F (230°C).
No. Champagne vinegar has a more delicate flavor profile and is less pungent than white wine vinegar. As stated in the name, Champagne vinegar is made from champagne while the other is made from white wine. The former is better for adding flavor to the vinaigrette without overpowering it with too much acidity.
Yes, you can use safflower oil which also has a lighter flavor. You’ll want to avoid using extra-virgin olive oil since it could overwhelm the other ingredients in the vinaigrette.
- Use an immersion blender to make the dressing. It’s easier to clean and more convenient to use. Plus there’s not much liquid so using a regular blender or food processor wouldn’t make much sense to use.
- Add a light drizzle of dressing before adding more. This fennel salad is meant to be light and delicate, so be careful not to drench your salad. You’ll have leftover vinaigrette, but you can save it for another salad or add it to anything you like.
- Store the leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to Serve This Roasted Fennel Salad
- Have it as a light lunch by itself.
- Eat as a side salad with some homemade pizza!
- Serve it along side some protein like fish, chicken, or even chickpeas.
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This roasted fennel salad is made with toasted pine nuts, avocado, oranges, and a combination of arugula and radicchio. Top it all off with orange champagne vinaigrette and you’ve got yourself a tasty and beautiful healthy salad.
Orange Champagne Vinaigrette:
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra light olive oil
- 3 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp honey
- ½ tbsp shallots, chopped
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (from ½ orange, save the other half for the salad)
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
Roasted Fennel Salad:
- ½ fennel bulb + 1 stalk (about 1 ½ cups or 115 g), sliced
- ½ tbsp extra light olive oil
- 4 cups arugula (80 g)
- 1 ½ cups radicchio (80 g)
- 12 mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 large avocado
- ½ orange, supremed* and diced
- ⅓ cup (60 g) pine nuts
- Fennel sprigs, for garnish
- Shaved parmesan, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Using an immersion blender and immersion blender cup, add all the vinaigrette ingredients in the order listed and thoroughly blend together until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Set aside.
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice ½ a fennel bulb plus 1 whole stalk and place on the prepared baking sheet. Toss in ½ tbsp olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes in the oven.
- While the fennel is roasting, take half of the orange and supreme it*, removing the pith and membrane and then cut into bite sized chunks. Dice the avocado and set aside.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, toss the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes until golden and slightly browned. Be careful not to scorch them. Once toasted, remove from the pan and set side.
- In a salad bowl, add the arugula, radicchio, mint, half the roasted fennel, half the avocado, and half the pine nuts. Toss in ¼ cup (60 ml) of the orange champagne vinaigrette to coat the salad.
- Finish by garnishing the salad with the remainder of the roasted fennel, pine nuts, and avocado. Add a few fennel sprigs and shaved parmesan on top. Add additional dressing if desired.
How to Supreme an Orange: Since we’re only supreming ½ an orange for the salad, you should already have one cut end. Cut the other end of the orange so you have two flat ends. Lay it on one of the flat sides and cut off the skin and pith going down at an angle so you don’t cut away any of the fruit. You can now cut out the skinless orange slices and dice them into chunks for the salad.
Store the leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Save it for another salad or anything you like.
You can substitute the extra light olive oil with safflower oil since they are both mild in flavor. Extra virgin olive oil is too strong and could overpower the other ingredients in the dressing.
Nutrition info includes ¼ cup (60 ml) of the vinaigrette and is only an estimate.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 264
- Sugar: 6.1 g
- Sodium: 103.8 mg
- Fat: 23.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 14.9 g
- Fiber: 5.8 g
- Protein: 3.8 g
Keywords: roasted fennel salad, summer salad, orange champagne vinaigrette, fennel salad, toasted pine nuts