Tantalise your taste buds with this fresh and flavourful Fennel Mandarin Salad. This bright and zesty salad is bursting with colour and crunch to make your meal complete. With a few simple ingredients, you can quickly whip up this salad that is sure to leave your guests craving for more.
Citrus is a classic flavour that adds a bright, zesty note to this salad - and winter is the perfect time to take advantage of this incredible ingredient! In this salad fennel and mandarin oranges are complemented by blanched almonds and a citrus vinaigrette.
This vibrant, flavourful combination is the ideal way to fight off winter colds, giving you a much-needed boost of immunity and energy. So, get ready to indulge in this flavorful and vitamin-packed salad - it's sure to be a hit!
If you are a fennel fanatic, then why not some more of our fennel salads:
- Smoked Trout & Fennel Salad
- Shaved Fennel Salad
- Fennel Orange Salad with Seedy Mustard
- Red Cabbage & Fennel in Berry Mayo
- Cabbage & Fennel Salad with Finger Limes
- Crab & Fennel Salad
Let's Talk Ingredients
This Fennel and Mandarin Salad is made up of two ingredients and some blanched almonds; its magic lies with the zingy citrus vinaigrette.
Fennel - forms the base of this salad, full of crunch and mild anise/licorice flavour. We save the fronds to add to the salad for a pop of bright green colour.
Mandarins - with so many varieties (even seedless ones!), choose your favourite; just make sure they are sweet and aromatic.
Salad dressing - Loaded with the zest and the juice of FOUR citrus fruits, it truly packs a flavour punch; it is enough for two salads. If you want to keep it simple, then use lemons and oranges/mandarins for the dressing - ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon orange/mandarin juice, and 1 tablespoon each of lemon and orange/mandarin zest.
How to Make It
Step 1 - Prepare Ingredients
Wash the fennel, cut off the base, the hardcore and any damaged parts. Shred finely either by using a mandoline/v-slicer or a sharp knife.
As fennel discolours easily, place it in a bowl and fill it with cold water until you are ready to use it.
Reserve the fennel fronds from your bulbs and roughly chop them.
Peel your mandarins, remove the pith, separate them into segments, and then cut them in half lengthways.
Step 2 - Shake-up the Dressing
After you have zested and juiced all the citrus.
Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and then shake until emulsified.
Or you could add them to a small bowl and whisk everything together.
Step 3 - Assemble Fennel Mandarin Salad
Drain your fennel in a colander and pat dry with a towel; transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add your mandarins and fennel fronds.
You will not need all of the dressing; just gradually pour the dressing over your salad until all the ingredients are well coated and reserve the remaining dressing for another salad. (it lasts approximately 2-3 days in the fridge and is excellent with salad greens and avocado).
Then season your salad with salt and pepper, and toss well until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl, serve and enjoy!
How to Blanch Your Almonds
I would never have thought that blanching almonds would change their texture so much. Soaking your almonds results in a beautiful creamy texture, which just adds another dimension to this fennel salad.
Blanched almonds are simply almonds that have had their skins removed to reveal a creamy white nut for a butterier, less bitter taste.
This can be achieved in one of three ways, by soaking overnight, by soaking in hot water or by boiling.
P.S. - Hate food wastage? Then keep your almond skins; we show you how to use them in our People Also Ask section below.
- Fill a bowl with cold water and add your almonds, making sure they are fully covered.
- Cover your bowl with cling film or with a plate or towel, and let them stand overnight.
- The next day, drain your almonds in a colander, and if you pinch the nut from the base, the entire skin should easily slip off in one piece.
- Then thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels to use in your recipe.
- Fill a bowl with boiling water and add your almonds, making sure that they are fully covered.
- Cover your bowl with a plate or towel and let them stand for 20-30 minutes. Test by taking out a nut and see how easy it is to remove the skin.
- Drain the almonds in a colander and then pinch the nut from the base, and the entire skin should easily slip off in one piece.
- Then thoroughly pat dry with paper towels to use in your recipe.
- Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add your almonds and simmer until the skins just begin to look a little wrinkly. (approximately 2 minutes). Test by taking out a nut and see how easy it is to remove the skin.
- Drain the almonds in a colander and rinse them with cold water to cool them quickly. Then pinch the nut from the base, and the entire skin should easily slip off in one piece.
- Then thoroughly pat dry with paper towels to use in your recipe.
Storing Your Blanched Almonds
If you plan on storing your blanched almonds, make sure they are dried thoroughly. Simply leave them covered in a warm, dry place for several hours (approximately 6-8 hours).
For this recipe, we are looking for a soft creamy texture to compliment the crisp fennel, so leave your almonds in hot water until you are ready to use them.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This light and refreshing salad is an ideal accompaniment to rich and meaty meals like roasts. It pairs exceptionally well with seafood, pork, and poultry. Pair it with:
💡Tips and Questions (FAQs)
What Can I Do With the Leftover Almond Skins?
Don't waste those precious almond skins; they are full of antioxidants and vitamin E and promote good bacteria in your gut.
Place them on a baking tray and dry them in a hot oven until crisp (approximately 5-10 minutes).
Allow them to cool completely, and grind them to a powder using a small food processor. Add them to your smoothies, sprinkle them on your salads or even use them in your baking.
Can Fennel Mandarin Salad Be Made Ahead?
- The fennel can be cut and stored in cold water in the fridge the day before. Chop and store the fronds separately.
- Mandarins can also be peeled the day before.
- You can also shake up the dressing the day before and store it in a glass jar in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature and give it a good shake before pouring over the salad.
- On the day, drain and dry the fennel, slice the mandarins, pour over the shaken dressing, season, toss and serve.
The leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will keep for approximately 2-3 days.
Use a mandolin/vi-slicer to cut your fennel, as this will give you even, thin slices.
Our fennel and mandarin salad is perfect for dieting as it is very low cal with only 115 calories per serving.
It is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30, vegan and vegetarian eaters.
While relatively low-carb with just 9 grams of net carbs, this salad is not suitable on keto because of the fruit.
(We use a nutritional database, so all nutritional information should be considered an estimate)
Try Some More of Our Almond Salad Recipes
- Mandoline / V-Slicer
- 3 medium fennel bulbs (approximately 705 grams / 25 ounces)
- ⅓ cup fennel fronds (use chopped dill if the fronds on your fennel are sparse)
- 4 medium mandarins (approximately 360 grams / 12.7 ounces)
- ½ cup almonds, blanched
- ⅓ cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest (approximately the zest from 1 lemon)
- ½ tablespoon lime zest (approximately the zest from 1 lime)
- ½ tablespoon orange zest (approximately the zest from 1 orange)
- ½ tablespoon mandarin zest (approximately the zest from 1 mandarin)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ tablespoon orange juice
- ½ tablespoon mandarin juice
- Blanch your almonds either by soaking them overnight or by boiling them in a small saucepan for 2-3 minutes, once the skins are wrinkly, allow to cool and then peel them (keep the white almonds in hot water until you are ready to use them in your salad).½ cup almonds, blanched
- Wash and trim your fennel (reserve the fronds). Remove the core and slice thinly either with a sharp knife or with a mandoline/v-slicer.3 medium fennel bulbs
- As fennel discolours place it in a bowl with cold water until you are ready to use.
- Roughly chop your reserved fennel fronds to make ⅓ cup).⅓ cup fennel fronds
- Peel your mandarins, remove the pith and seeds, separate them into segments then cut them in half lengthways.4 medium mandarins
- Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper then shake until emulsified.⅓ cup olive oil, ½ tablespoon lemon zest, ½ tablespoon lime zest, ½ tablespoon orange zest, ½ tablespoon mandarin zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoon lime juice, ½ tablespoon orange juice, ½ tablespoon mandarin juice
- Drain your fennel in a colander and pat dry with a towel, transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the rest of your ingredients.
- You will not need all of the dressing just gradually pour the dressing over your salad until all the ingredients are well coated and reserve the remaining dressing for another salad.*
- Season your salad with salt and pepper, toss well until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, serve and enjoy!
- You will not need all of this vinaigrette, reserve the leftovers to use in another salad, it will keep in your fridge for approximately 2-3 days.
- It is great with salad greens and avocado!