This citrus salad will brighten up any winter day! It's refreshing, light, and filled with flavor from fennel, fresh mint, avocado, and more.
If a tomato salad is the best part of summer, a citrus salad is surely its winter counterpart. When tender greens and bursty berries are still months away, citrus season is at its peak. Good tomatoes may be scarce, but satsumas, grapefruit, oranges, and mandarins are sweet and acidic, juicy, and vibrant. So if I’m in the mood for something fresh, light, and bright in the winter months, a citrus salad is the first thing I turn to.
This recipe is my favorite citrus salad yet! It uses a mix of fruit to show off the season’s best, and it’s full of crisp, aromatic, salty, and bitter elements to accent the sweet, juicy citrus. It would be a show-stopping side dish for any dinner or brunch, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to eat this salad pretty much all the time. Pair it with a scoop of farro or top it with a handful of crispy roasted chickpeas, and call it a meal. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Citrus Salad Recipe Ingredients
When I’m adding citrus to a salad, you can bet that fennel, avocado, and mint won’t be far behind. Each of these ingredients highlights the sweet, juicy fruit in a different way. You’ll find them all here, along with a few other key components:
- Citrus, of course! It couldn’t be a citrus salad without a good mix of citrus fruits. I used satsumas and grapefruit, but navel or blood oranges, mandarins, and tangelos would also be excellent.
- Fennel, 2 ways – I thinly slice one bulb and leave it raw for crunch. Then, I slice another into wedges and roast it. It comes out of the oven with a silky texture and aromatic, caramelized flavor that’s delicious in this citrus salad.
- Radicchio – The hearty, bitter leaves balance the fruits’ sweetness and stand up to all the juices in this salad.
- Avocado – Its creamy texture is fantastic with the other juicy, crunchy elements here.
- Shaved pecorino cheese – A salty contrast for the sweet fruit!
- Pine nuts – For crunch! Pepitas, chopped almonds, or chopped walnuts would be great here too.
- Fresh mint – The cherry on top! It makes this salad feel fresh and light. Try using fresh thyme leaves for a fun variation.
A zingy lemon vinaigrette ties it all together!
To assemble the salad, start by layering the radicchio, the roasted fennel, and half the raw fennel and citrus segments onto a platter. Drizzle it all with the dressing and season it with salt and pepper. Layer on the rest of the fennel and the citrus, and top them with the avocado, mint, cheese, and pine nuts. Add more dressing and salt and pepper, and serve!
Citrus Salad Tips
- Leave out the pith. This salad should be all about the citrus fruit, not the pith. To showcase the fruit’s sweet flavor and juicy texture, cutting off the peel and white pith from each citrus wedge is key. I also like to remove any exposed pieces of the filmy membrane that separates citrus segments.
- Get ahead. This gorgeous salad would be fantastic for entertaining! To prep it ahead of time, whisk together the dressing, shave and roast the fennel, and slice the citrus up to a day in advance. Assemble the salad right before you’re ready to eat.
- Make it vegan. Skip the cheese, and use a tablespoon of capers or diced Kalamata olives in its place.
More Cold Weather Salad Recipes
If you love this citrus salad, try one of these hearty salad recipes next:
- Rainbow Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Caesar Salad
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
- Citrus Cabbage Salad
- Curried Lentil Salad
Or, find my top 40 salad recipes here!
Citrus Salad with Fennel & Avocado
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced into wedges and roasted
- 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
- 5 radicchio leaves, torn
- 2 satsumas or 1 small orange, segmented
- 1 small pink grapefruit, segmented
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ¼ cup shaved pecorino
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare the roasted fennel according to these directions.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard.
- In a medium bowl, toss the sliced fennel with a few drizzles of the dressing. Set aside for 15 minutes so the fennel softens a bit.
- Assemble the salad on a platter by arranging half of the sliced fennel, all the roasted fennel, radicchio, and half of the citrus segments. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the dressing and sprinkle with salt. Layer the remaining fennel and the remaining citrus onto the salad. Top with the avocado, pine nuts, pecorino, and mint. Drizzle with more dressing, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.
This is literally one of the best salads I’ve ever made. I changed up the citrus a bit for some extra variety but OMG it’s delicious!! I ended up using 2 small cara cara oranges, one honeybell, 1 pink grapefruit and 1 pomelo. It is so worth the extra effort. I also toasted my pine nuts and used a few more than what it called for.
I’m so glad you loved it so much! It’s one of our favorites too 🙂
This was a lovely salad! Substituted arugula and baby spring greens for the radicchio and walnuts instead of pine nuts. Served alongside local crab right off the boat. It was pretty to look at and thoroughly enjoyed by all!
I’m wanting to serve this for gourmet club – 8 guests. Has anyone tried to plate this ahead of time so everyone is assured a bit of everything?
Hi Sally, you could totally plate this salad ahead of time! I’d just wait to add the avocado, pine nuts, pecorino, and mint until right before serving.
Great salad! I used arugula instead of radicchio and didn’t d them kalamata olives
and capers. Paired it with a tomato leek tart. It was fabulous. Love the roasted fennel. Also used champagne vinegar instead if lemon juice.
I’m so glad you loved it!
What a refreshing salad! So tasty!
Loved this salad; so flavorful and refreshing. So many different flavors tied together so well with the lemon dressing. So delicious.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Love the brightness in both color and flavor of this salad! I used home grown cara cara and oro blancos for the citrus.
This salad was incredible! The flavors are so bright and will be making it all the time from here on out. I had never cooked with fennel before and it was so delicious in this recipe!
What a refreshing salad! It was my first time roasting fennel and it was so tasty and complemented the citrus so well. Thank you for picking this recipe for the March Cooking Club contest.
Made this tonight for the March Cooking Club and it was delicious! The roasted fennel is the star of the show.
This recipe for Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado is so delicious kaleidoscope of flavors, color and texture for your senses will definitely make this again and again. Paired the salad this evening with the Love & Lemons Butternut Squash Risotto to which I added a cup or two of chopped white mushroom and rosemary. Simply divine and a perfect accompaniment to the tart and tangy yet sweet salad.
Delicious! The roasted fennel makes it. I will be making this salad frequently. Thank you.