Fennel is an under-appreciated food in my humble opinion. I barely ever eat it and practically never cook with it. But it’s sweet like licorice and crunchy and juicy like celery, and absolutely delicious paired with citrus. This salad marries the flavors of fennel, orange, red onion, and salty feta, with a simple vinaigrette to enhance everything.
I found vegan feta at Whole Foods and I almost jumped for joy. So many of my dishes (see here in particular) have been missing the distinct salty, creamy flavor of feta because I didn’t have any easy way to substitute it. Now that I have this option available in an accessible grocery store, I decided to let it shine as the salty crumble in this fresh and bright salad.
You could use blood orange instead of a regular navel orange if you’d like, and you can obviously omit the feta if you can’t find the vegan version in your local store. If that’s the case, add more salt in the seasoning process. We ate ours with my butternut squash farro (see above) which was the perfect warm, creamy compliment to the cold and crunchy salad.
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 fennel bulb + a few fronds
1 navel orange, peeled and cut into wedges
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp crumbled vegan feta, if desired
In a small bowl, add red onion slices and orange juice and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 5 minutes while you prepare the orange and fennel. To prepare the fennel, cut the fennel bulb into thin wedges, removing the tough center core. In your serving bowl, add fennel wedges and a few small fronds, orange wedges, and marinated red onion. Whisk together olive oil and white vinegar and pour over salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with vegan feta if desired. Toss to incorporate dressing and serve immediately or refrigerate until it’s time to eat.