This Fennel Orange Salad recipe is the perfect accompaniment to heavy winter meals with hot honey bacon and a homemade honey orange dressing.
Fennel orange salad recipe
Every bite of this salad is perfectly balanced. Hitting on so many flavor notes. Salty bacon, sweet honey, crunchy fennel, juicy orange and just a hint of lingering heat.
The type of heat that hits you in the back of the throat and lingers for a bit. Leaving you wondering whether or not it really is spicy.
And just as you start to think it may be a lot spicy, the cool crunchy fennel and juicy orange chime in urging you to take another bite.
- Fennel – fennel is a perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Fennel is in season and readily available from fall into spring and its season coincides with citrus season. Fennel has a anise or licorice taste. Fennel bulb, stalk, flowers, pollen and seeds are all edible. The fennel bulb is used sliced in this fennel salad recipe. And the feathery fennel fronds are used as a garnish. Or substitute chives, basil, cilantro, or parsley for the fennel fronds.
- Oranges – or other seasonal citrus fruit like blood oranges. You can also make pear fennel salad or make a fennel salad with apples, celery, pomegranate, etc.
- Bacon – crispy cooked and crumbled bacon bits.
- Honey – or make brown sugar candied bacon or maple candied bacon instead of honey candied bacon
- Jalapeño pepper – or other similar spiced chili pepper to make spicy candied bacon. Or leave the jalapeno pepper out to have a delicious fennel salad that’s not spicy.
Step by step instructions
- Prepare ingredients. Over a bowl to save as much juice as possible, peel oranges and slice into thin rounds. Clean and thinly slice fennel and reserve fennel fronds for garnish. Cook bacon until crispy, drain and crumble.
- Make spicy honey. Warm honey until smooth and shiny on the stovetop, about 3 minutes. Remove honey from heat and stir in sliced jalapeño pepper. Set hot honey aside to cool.
- Then make a flavorful dressing for the fennel orange salad from a little bit of the spicy honey and the reserved orange juice. Simply combine and stir until smooth.
- Place crumbled bacon and fennel slices in a medium bowl and pour honey orange dressing over. Toss lightly to coat then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Arrange sliced citrus on a large plate or platter. Top with the fennel mixture.
- Sprinkle with fennel fronds or fresh herbs.
Make it a meal
How to store
This fennel salad recipe is best served immediately after combining. But to make ahead of time simply make the hot honey orange dressing and store refrigerated for up to 3 days. Then cook bacon, slice orange and fennel and combine before serving.
- 3 medium oranges peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced, about 2 cups
- 4 slices bacon crumbled, about ½ cup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ small jalapeño pepper 1 tablespoon sliced
- ¼ cup fennel fronds chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium skillet over medium high heat cook bacon until crispy. Remove from heat and drain bacon on paper towels. When cool, crumble into small pieces.4 slices bacon
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm honey until smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes. Remove honey from heat, stir in sliced jalapeño pepper, and set aside to cool.2 tablespoons honey
- Over a bowl to collect the orange juice, peel oranges and slice into thin rounds.3 medium oranges
- Add the cooled jalapeno infused honey to the orange juice in the bowl and stir until smooth. Then stir in crumbled bacon and fennel slices. Season to taste with salt.1 small fennel bulb, ¼ small jalapeño pepper, salt and pepper
- Arrange orange slices on platter, top with the dressed bacon fennel mixture. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and fresh ground pepper to taste.¼ cup fennel fronds