This fennel + citrus salad with shallots and capers is a deliciously crisp, fresh salad that satisfies all your sweet-and-salty cravings!
Easy,  Recipes,  Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Fennel + Citrus Salad with Shallots and Capers

Vibrant citrus and crisp fennel team up in this deliciously fresh, simple salad recipe. Great as a side dish or over your favorite protein.

Bowl of fennel citrus salad with salad hand tools to the side.

Why we love making this recipe

  • It’s crisp and refreshing.
  • Mixing and matching different types of citrus make this fennel salad beautifully colorful.
  • It comes together in just a few minutes!
  • No-cook, easy side dishes are always welcome additions to our kitchen repertoire.
Ingredients for fennel and citrus salad with shallots and capers out on a cutting board.

It may surprise you to hear that I was a super picky eater as a child. There were a ton of things that I just would not eat.

One of the ingredients that was high up on my list of dislikes was fennel.

After having fennel roasted for the first time, I realized that there was much more to fennel than just pure crunchy licorice.

🥬 Ingredient Spotlight: Fennel

Fennel is a versatile vegetable that can be used both cooked and raw. The bulb, stalks, flowers, and leafy fronds are all edible.

Many recipes call for just the bulb of the fennel or dried fennel seeds.

Fresh fennel has a crisp texture and licorice-y flavor. When roasted, fennel caramelized and gets beautifully sweet.

When preparing a bulb of fennel for a raw dish, you should take care to remove the tough inner core. I like thinly sliced or shaved fennel when eating it raw.

You can use a mandoline if you want to ensure perfectly even slices.

If you’re craving more info about fennel and its uses, there’s a great article on what fennel is and how to cook it over on Love and Lemons.

Chopping a bulb of fennel to add to a bowl of fennel and citrus salad.

This recipe is super simple to put together, and it’s a nice, refreshing salad that’s perfect alongside lots of different main courses.

Fennel citrus salad is delicious in the summer when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by turning on the oven.

It’s also a great winter option that goes well with comfort food dishes like lasagna (this Ravioli Lasagna or Skillet Lasagna with Lamb, Ricotta + Mint would both be great choices) or a piping hot serving of Italian Sausage and Peppers.


Cutting the rind off of a grapefruit.

How to make this recipe

  1. Cut off and discard the pith from all of your citrus fruit.
  2. Use your knife to cut supremes of fruit from between the membranes, letting them fall into the bowl.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the bowl.
  4. Add sliced remaining ingredients and gently toss to combine.
  5. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds and enjoy!
Squeezing juice from the membranes of a grapefruit.
Fresh fennel, citrus, shallots, and capers in a large bowl.
Drizzling honey onto a fresh fennel salad.
Cod topped with fresh fennel citrus salad.
Bowl of fennel citrus salad with knife and honey pot alongside.

We love this fennel and citrus salad served on top of fish like pan-seared cod, or with grilled chicken breasts.

The way the sweet-and-salty citrus juice mixture from the fennel salad drips down onto the meat is really lovely.

There are so many ways to utilize this simple fennel salad, and I’m looking forward to exploring more for years to come!

Bowl of fennel and citrus salad.

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FAQs about this recipe

How should I store leftover fennel citrus salad?

Leftovers should be stored in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to pour off all but a few tablespoons of the liquid before storing leftovers to help prevent it from getting too soggy.

Can I make this salad in advance?

You can, but note that the longer your fennel sits in with the liquid, the less crisp it will be. It will still taste fantastic, but won’t have quite as much crunch.

You could also prep everything but leave the sliced fennel in a separate container, tossing it together just before serving.

Can I use different citrus fruit in this salad?

Absolutely! I love the sour-tanginess that grapefruit adds, so I usually use that and one or two other options. Oranges, tangerines, and blood oranges are all great options. You could even use a can of drained mandarin oranges in a pinch.

I’d steer clear of adding lemons or limes, as they’ll likely be too sour.

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Bowl of fennel and citrus salad.

Fennel + Citrus Salad with Shallots and Capers

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 Servings
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Vibrant citrus and crisp fennel team up in this deliciously fresh, simple salad recipe. Great as a side dish or over your favorite protein.


Ingredients

  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1 Minneola tangelo
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups), reserving 1 tablespoon fennel fronds
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon honey (can substitute maple syrup or a smaller amount of agave to keep it vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut off and discard the peel and pith of the grapefruit. Cut out the supremes from between the membranes; place the supremes in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the supremes. Repeat with Minneola.

  2. Add sliced fennel (reserving fronds for garnish), shallot, capers, oil, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and toss gently to combine.

  3. Garnish with fennel fronts and enjoy!



Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 144
  • Sugar: 10.5 g
  • Sodium: 304.1 mg
  • Fat: 7.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.2 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: citrus, fennel, fennel salad, grapefruit

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

23 Comments

  • Laura @MotherWouldKnow

    I love fennel and so do my kids. But they used to tell me that when I put in their school lunches the other kids made fun of them, thinking that they were eating raw onions:) Now that they are grown-up, no such worries. I’d love this salad and I bet they would too.

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      I didn’t like fennel until a few years ago. Now I cook with it fairly often. Hope you and your kids enjoy this one whenever you make it!

  • Dominique | Perchance to Cook

    This salad is seriously calling my name. I love when fennel and citrus is paired together. I even like adding some carrots. This salad sounds amazing, especially this dressing. 🙂

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    What a great sounding salad. I love all the ingredients….hubby would not like the shallots…but then all the more for me. I would eat this as a stand alone meal for sure.






  • Analida @ ethnicspoon.com

    I love a sweet and savory salad like this too! There is something about the citrus and sharpness of the onions that really works for a great flavor!
    Try this Turkish orange and onion salad if you have a chance: https://ethnicspoon.com/turkish-orange-and-onion-salad/ Thanks for sharing!






  • Elaine @ Dishes Delish

    I love using fennel for a salad! You’ve got some great flavors going on here! Not only is it a pretty salad but it looks sooooo delicious!






  • Veena Azmanov

    I never like fennel a few years ago, but these last two years I have been making them often for myself. I still cook them lightly – can’t get myself to eating them raw. Perhaps will learn eventually. Saving this to try later.

    • Ashley

      I was in the same boat, Veena. I used to hate the flavor of fennel and licorice, but after trying it roasted (and really well caramelized), I was a total convert!

  • Amanda Mason

    That looks like fresh dill on top…but is that the fennel fronds? The ingredients look and sound amazing in this salad! I’ll definately be giving this a try!






  • Helene

    I think so I need to look up tangelo, never heard of that ingredient! The other ingredients combined otherwise sound great for the colder days. Especially the dressing sounds very exciting. 🙂

  • Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

    This looks like a very light and refreshing salad. I’m not a fan of the salty brine of capers, but everything else sounds fabulous. I’m going to have to try this out

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