Once we begin to transition to spring and summer, I really crave fresh and light ingredients. Especially citrus fruits that are sweet, refreshing and can be eaten as is or put into salads. I also enjoy fennel, which I know is not everyone’s favorite because of the mild licorice flavor (the exact reason why I like it) but fennel pairs well with citrus fruits and has a wonderful crunchy texture.
Knowing that these are a few of my favorite things, why not combine them? Citrus Fruit, Fennel and Avocado Salad is the result of experimenting in the kitchen and the final product is delicious. The sweetness of the oranges, clementine and grapefruit balances the licorice flavor of the fennel, while the red onion adds a bit of a bite. The pine nuts add additional crunch and flavor and then the avocado is the creamy finale. This is an easy side dish that would pair well with chicken, fish or pork, or as a salad on its own.
Prepping the Ingredients
This recipe is very easy to prepare, the only thing that gets a little messy is sectioning all of the citrus. Just make sure you are using a cutting board with a juice groove, like a Cutco Cutting Board, to catch all of the juice. If you haven’t sectioned citrus before, check out our tutorial, How to Section a Grapefruit.
To get started on this recipe, peel the fruits and section the oranges, clementine and grapefruit with the Trimmer.
Set the fruit aside and use a 7" Santoku knife to remove the fronds (top leafy part) of the fennel and the bottom root. Thinly slice the remaining bulb. Using the same knife, thinly slice 1/2 of a red onion.
Set the vegetables aside and using a 4" Gourmet Paring Knife, cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Further cut the avocado into quarters, remove the skin and thinly slice the quarters.
The final ingredient here is the pine nuts and I would really encourage you to toast them. Toasting pine nuts really brings out a nutty flavor that complements the sweetness of the fruit and the bite of the onion. To toast them, place them in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat and toss occasionally. Watch them carefully as they will go from brown to burnt in an instant. Once they are a nice golden brown, remove the pine nuts from the skillet and allow them to cool.
Making the Salad
Place the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a small bowl and whisk together with the Mix-Stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Put the oranges, clementine, grapefruit, fennel, red onion and pine nuts into a serving bowl and toss. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the mixture and toss again. Add the avocado, drizzle with additional vinaigrette, toss the entire mixture gently and serve.
This Citrus Fruit, Fennel and Avocado Salad is so refreshing, I could eat it directly out of the bowl. It has crunch, creaminess and a delicious blend of flavors that burst in your mouth with each bite. I can really see this as a beautiful side dish to pair with white meat (chicken or pork) or fish. Absolutely delicious and pretty on the table, this is one salad you’ll make again and again.
Citrus Fruit, Fennel and Avocado Salad
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 2 navel oranges, segmented
- 1 clementine, segmented
- 1 small pink grapefruit, segmented
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
Make the vinaigrette:
- Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Make the salad:
- Place the oranges, clementine, grapefruit, fennel, onion and pine nuts into a large mixing bowl and toss. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette to coat the mixture and toss again.
- Add the avocado and toss once more with additional dressing and serve.