This citrus avocado and shaved fennel salad is just the thing to get you out of a salad slump. It’s simple and colorful and replete with bright acidity.
It’s the kick in the pants I need around the end of February, when winter feels interminable and I crave something that feels like sunshine on a plate.
This salad has not one but two kinds of citrus: blood orange and grapefruit. You could, of course, swap in different oranges (cara cara oranges are magnificent in salads) or omit the grapefruit if you don’t like them or avoid them because they conflict with a medication, but I like the mix of colors and bitter and sweet flavors these two citrus varieties bring.
The fennel gets shaved paper thin. The easiest way to do this is on a mandoline (which is also the easiest way to slice the tips of your fingers, so be careful!), but a sharp knife can also do the job.
The shaved fennel and orange and grapefruit segments get tossed in an Asian-inflected dressing with lime juice and soy sauce and sesame oil, a bit of mirin and a squeeze of sriracha. (It’s a dressing that’s nice to have in your back pocket for any crisp vegetable salad–it’s nice on cucumbers or a shaved cabbage slaw as well.)
Then thinly sliced avocado gets added to the mix, and the whole thing gets topped with a flurry of mint.
It’s a lovely little salad with a perfect balance of sweet and sour, soft and crisp, rich and light.
Its the sort of thing that makes a lovely light lunch on its own but also goes beautifully alongside you protein of choice. I especially love it next to a piece of fish (but I could imagine eating with with edamame tossed in for a vegetable protein source as well).
I’ll be eating this one until spring gets here.
Citrus Avocado and Shaved Fennel Salad
This salad has blood oranges and grapefruit and I love the color and mix of sweet and bitter they bring, but feel free to swap in your favorite mix or oranges or pomelos if you like. The shaved fennel brings crunch and the avocado brings richness, and the sesame soy dressing brings salty depth with a sriracha kick for some heat. This is vegan as is and gluten free if you use tamari in place of soy sauce. I like on it’s own as a light lunch or alongside any protein for a more substantial meal. I like to shave the fennel on a mandoline but a sharp chefs knife can also get the job done. The citrus here get supremed to remove the membranes. If you aren’t familiar with the technique here’s a primer.
For the salad
- 1 fennel bulb, shaved paper thin
- 1 ruby red grapefruit, supremed
- 1 blood orange, supremed
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 small handful of mint, roughly torn
For the lime sesame soy dressing
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
Add the shaved fennel and citrus segments to a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and sriracha together. Lightly dress the fennel and citrus, then transfer to a serving plate and add gently arrange the avocado slices, add the rest of the dressing. Sprinkle mint over the top. Serve immediately.
Dressing may be made ahead of time.