This Roasted Fennel With Orange Honey Dressing is a great side dish for your holiday table. Fennel wedges are roasted and drizzled with a vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice, honey, and mustard. A delicious and beautiful fennel orange salad that works great at dinner parties served alongside a roasted chicken.
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple and easy to make. Sometimes you just need to let vegetables shine and do their thing. I love fennel on everything, but this simple salad really allows it to be the main attraction and the preparation and ingredients compliment this delicious vegetable so well.
- Fresh ingredients. This side dish is healthy and uses mostly fresh ingredients to create a bright and zesty salad.
- Delicious. Roasting the fennel creates an almost caramelized effect and enhances the fresh flavors of licorice. And the dressing is flavored with sweet, tangy oranges and honey, but cut with mustard so that it’s not too sweet.
- Beautiful. This colorful salad is truly beautiful and looks great on a serving platter. The caramelized fennel wedges pair beautifully with the orange honey dressing, and the orange zest and the light fennel fronds serve as a lovely garnish.
The ingredients for this recipe are straightforward - you really just need the fennel bulb and then the ingredients for the dressing!
- Large fresh fennel bulbs. I used two here, but keep in mind that you really only use the fennel bulbs and the fennel wedges will shrink a bit as they roast. I’d probably double this if I were making it for more than 4 people.
- Fennel fronds. The fronds serve as a nice garnish and a beautiful aromatic flavor to this dish (especially when paired with the orange zest).
- Olive oil. You’ll use a touch of this to brush onto the fennel bulbs before roasting and the rest for the dressing.
- White wine vinegar. After all, you can’t make a vinaigrette without vinegar! White wine vinegar keeps this dressing light and bright.
- Fresh orange juice and zest. This adds such a nice brightness to the dressing.
- Honey. The honey here acts as a sweetener and mellows out the dressing a bit.
- Dijon Mustard. The mustard tastes delicious in this dressing and gives it a zesty kick. But it also serves as an emulsifier to encourage the oil and vinegar to blend well and stay together.
How To Make Roasted Fennel Salad With Orange Honey Dressing
This fennel citrus salad is simple to make and only takes a short bit.
- Preheat your oven. Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Prepare the fennel bulbs. Next, prepare the fennel wedges. Using a sharp knife, chop the stalks and fronds off the fennel bulb, then slice the fennel bulb in half. (Be sure to reserve the stalks and fronds!)
- Cut out the core. Cut the inner core out of each side of the root end of the halved fennel bulb and discard.
- Cut into wedges. Cut the fennel bulb halves into wedges by halving each piece, then halving again.
- Add some olive oil. Arrange the fennel wedges onto your baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Roast. Cover the fennel wedges with foil and roast them for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for 5-10 minutes more, or until the wedges are tender and caramelized on the edges.
- Make the dressing. While the fennel is roasting, make the orange honey dressing. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and stir until everything is well combined.
- Drizzle. Once the fennel has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and arrange it on a serving platter. Then drizzle the dressing over the top of the fennel (use a light hand here - you don’t want to drench the fennel in the dressing, and you should have leftover dressing which you can use in other salads.)
- Add the garnish. Sprinkle the orange zest and fennel fronds over the roasted fennel wedges and serve.
Substitutions & Variations
I love this orange fennel salad as is, but if you need to make any substitutions or changes, here are some ideas:
- Add a few small sweet orange segments to the salad for some extra flavor and color.
- Add some fresh mint leaves for another dimension of flavor.
- Top the salad with crumbled feta or goat cheese to add a creamy texture.
- Use lemon juice instead of orange juice in the dressing.
- Make shaved fennel pieces by cutting the fennel into thin slices. If using thinly sliced fennel instead of wedges, sautee the fennel over medium heat in a medium skillet to cook it.
Frequently Asked Questions
I like to arrange the fennel pieces evenly on a small serving platter and then drizzle the dressing and garnishes over the top. It makes for a beautiful presentation and is a great recipe for a dinner party or special occasion. This dish pairs really well with a lean protein like roasted chicken, salmon, pork or this delicious pan-seared sablefish.
If you have leftovers, allow them to come to room temperature then store in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They tend to get a little soft after being refrigerated so when you reheat them, toss them into a skillet over medium heat and just sauté them until they crisp up a bit.
The recipe for the orange honey dressing makes about 1.5-2 cups, and you definitely don't want to use it all on the salad. Drizzle just a small amount (3-4 tbsp) on at first and then add more as needed. You don't want to drown the fennel in the dressing.
The orange honey dressing is delicious and can be used on all sorts of other salads or in other dishes. Store the leftovers in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
If you make this delicious Roasted Fennel With Orange Honey Dressing, let me know what you think in the comments below. And please share a pic with me @frontrangefed on Instagram - I love to see your creations!
More Easy Vegetable Sides
- Fast & Easy Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Garlic And Cauliflower Mash
- Chopped Zucchini Salad With Parmesan And Herbs
- Crispy Parmesan Carrot Fries With Dipping Sauce
- Green Beans With Almonds And Garlic
Roasted Fennel Salad With Orange Honey Dressing
For The Roasted Fennel
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
For The Orange Honey Dressing
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 teaspoon grated orange zest
- ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the fennel. Cut the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulbs, then cut the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core, then slice each of the halves into fours.
- Arrange the fennel bulbs on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the fennel wedges for 25 minutes, or until they’ve become tender and caramelized on the edges and are a nice golden-brown color.
- While the fennel is roasting, make the orange honey dressing. Combine the oil, vinegar, honey, dijon, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Once the fennel has finished cooking, remove from oven and transfer to a serving plate. Add orange slices. Drizzle the orange honey dressing over the fennel, and sprinkle the reserved fennel fronds and orange zest over the top.
- Don't crowd the fennel on the pan when roasting!
- Only use a few tablespoons of the orange honey dressing to drizzle over the top of the fennel - you don't want to drown the fennel in dressing.
- Reheat any leftovers by sauteeing in a pan until crisp.
- Reserve the fennel stalks for making stock and use any extra fennel fronds to flavor salads and soups.