Arugula Salad with Fennel and Navel Orange

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  • Refreshing arugula salad with flavorful fennel and sweet navel orange accompanied by a delightful champagne vinegar dressing.

    A white rectangular plate containing arugula salad with fennel and navel orange.

    Do you like the texture and flavor of fennel?  It was a new ingredient I discovered when I moved to the U.S.  In Japan we don’t use fennel in our cooking, so I learned to use it as an ingredient in my soups first, and I loved it.

    My local pizza restaurant used raw fennel in their salad and I absolutely loved the texture.  So here’s my take on their salad – Arugula Salad with Fennel and Navel Orange which has become one of our family’s favorite salads that I make at home.

    Watch How To Make Arugula Salad with Fennel and Navel Orange

    Refreshing arugula salad with flavorful fennel and sweet navel orange accompanied by a delightful champagne vinegar dressing.

    Arugula + Fennel Bulb + Navel Oranges = Heavenly

    This beautiful and delicious salad involves 4 components: arugula, a fennel bulb, navel oranges, and walnuts.

    Arugula: Its peppery and pungent flavor adds an extra kick to this refreshing salad and complements the sweetness of navel oranges.  For a substitute, try baby spinach with or without the watercress depending on your personal preference for the peppery taste.

    Fennel bulb: The thinly sliced fennel bulb plays a pretty important role in this salad by providing a delightful crunch to the arugula salad.  However, if you are not a fan of this vegetable or don’t have access to it, I’d just skip.  Some people suggest celery as a substitute for fennel bulb in various recipes but IMHO the taste is very different.  If it was for a stew, I’d use celery as a substitute because the texture is quite similar and you don’t taste the ingredient’s natural flavor as much in a stew.

    Navel oranges: They are seedless, sweet, and very juicy and work really well with this salad.  I also use their juice to add a floral, citrusy accent to the dressing.  In case you can’t find them, you can substitute with Valencias or any other sweet orange varietals.

    Walnuts: Quickly roast the walnut in the pan for a more nutty flavor and extra crunch.

    A white rectangular plate containing arugula salad with fennel and navel orange.

    Arugula Salad with Delicate & Light Champagne Vinegar Dressing

    For this arugula salad dressing, I use navel orange juice, olive oil, and champagne vinegar. Now if you can’t find champagne vinegar, you can substitute with white wine vinegar but remember it’ll be a bit stronger. Champagne vinegar is lighter and fizzier than white wine vinegar, and it’s a great choice for making dressing for this kind of fruit salad. How about substituting with cider vinegar or distilled vinegar? I think they are too sour for this salad dressing.

    This salad was inspired by one of my favorite pizza restaurants in San Francisco – PIZZERIA DELFINA, who won the James Beard award in 2008.  I am getting hungry just thinking about their pizza crust…

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    A white rectangular plate containing arugula salad with fennel and navel orange.

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    A white rectangular plate containing arugula salad with fennel and navel orange.
    Arugula Salad with Fennel and Navel Orange
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins
     
    Refreshing arugula salad with flavorful fennel and sweet navel orange accompanied by a delightful champagne vinegar dressing.
    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: arugula salad, orange vinaigrette
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 3 Tbsp walnuts (23 g = 0.8 oz)
    • 1-2 navel oranges
    • ½ fennel bulb
    • 1 Tbsp fennel fronds (optional)
    • 1.5 oz arugula (43 g)
    Dressing
    • ½ Tbsp juice from the navel orange
    • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
    • salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad Ingredients
    2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and toast the walnuts, stirring frequently, until they smell fragrant. Transfer the walnuts to a plate and set aside.

      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad 1
    3. In a small bowl, squeeze ½ Tbsp of navel orange juice and set aside. Peel the navel oranges and cut the orange in half crosswise and slice into ½” thick half-moon slices.

      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad 2
    4. To make the dressing, whisk together ½ Tbsp navel orange juice (from the previous step), 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad 3
    5. Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulb and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Save some fronds for garnish. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough core parts. Cut the fennel bulb crosswise into thin slices.
      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad 4
    6. Add the arugula and fennel in a large bowl and add the dressing. Toss gently to coat thoroughly. Arrange the salad on a plate and arrange the orange slices. Sprinkle walnuts and fennel fronds. Serve immediately.
      Arugula, Fennel, and Navel Orange Salad 5
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     Editor’s Note: Originally published on Mar 26, 2015.

    Make It Into A Meal

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