Fennel and Orange Salad, or Insalata di Arance e Finocchi in Italian, is a refreshing and simple Sicilian dish that is popular all over Italy and around the world. It is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can come together to create a beautiful and flavorful dish. Here, we translate the recipe filed with Accademia Italiana della Cucina from the original Italian for your convenience!
Fennel and Orange Salad is a popular salad in both Spain and Italy—particularly in the region of Sicily. It is commonly served either as an appetizer an after the pasta dish (primo). It is an extremely easy recipe to make, but it packs a punch! The basic ingredients are slices of orange, olive oil, thinly sliced fennel, a bit of vinegar, some onion and a pinch of salt.
Fennel and Orange Salad Recipe: Ingredients
Translated from the original recipe.
Ingredients for 4
- oranges: 3, sliced
- fennel: 2 tender
- spring onions: 2 [thinly sliced]
- vinegar: 3 tbsp
- olive oil (extra virgin): as needed
- red chili pepper: to taste
- salt: to taste
How to Make Fennel and Orange Salad
From the Italian Recipe:
With a sharp knife, peel the oranges and cut them into slices or cubes, saving any juice that comes out while you are cutting. Put the spring onions in a ‘bath’ with the vinegar and after a few minutes, drain them and cut them into thin slices. Clean the fennel and slice it thinly. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season them with an emulsion made with the orange juice, olive oil and red chili pepper.
Variations on the Italian Fennel and Orange Salad
Some sources list black pepper as the pepper of choice rather than peperoncino (red chili pepper). Other sources suggest that onion is not a fundamental ingredient, but rather a variation.
Other ingredients sometimes added include: black olives, rosemary or mint.
History of Orange and Fennel Salad
The origins of Fennel and Orange Salad can be traced back to the citrus groves of Sicily. Fennel is a common ingredient in Sicilian cuisine, and the island is renowned for its sweet and juicy oranges. It is believed that the combination of these two ingredients was first created in the late 1800s by a group of Sicilian farmers who were looking for a refreshing way to use the abundant oranges and fennel that grew in the area.
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Sicilian Fennel and Orange Salad Recipe
- 3 oranges peeled and sliced
- 2 fennel tender
- 2 spring onions thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- olive oil extra virgin—to taste!
- red chili pepper to taste
- fine salt to taste
- With a sharp knife, peel the oranges and cut them into slices or cubes, saving any juice that comes out while you are cutting.
- Put the spring onions in a ‘bath’ with the vinegar and after a few minutes, drain them and cut them into thin slices.
- Clean the fennel and slice it thinly.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season them with an emulsion made with the orange juice, olive oil and red chili pepper.