Citrus Salad with Fennel & Avocado

This citrus salad will brighten up any winter day! It's refreshing, light, and filled with flavor from fennel, fresh mint, avocado, and more.

Citrus salad

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!

Satsumas, grapefruit, avocado, fennel, and radicchio on marble

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!

Citrus avocado salad recipe

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.

Citrus salad on a platter

More Cold Weather Salad Recipes

If you love this citrus salad, try one of these hearty salad recipes next:

Or, find my top 40 salad recipes here!

Citrus Salad with Fennel & Avocado

rate this recipe:
4.96 from 45 votes
Prep Time: 30 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This citrus salad is one of our favorite side dishes! To make it ahead of time, segment the citrus, slice and roast the fennel, and whisk together the dressing up to a day in advance. Assemble it when you're ready to eat!

Ingredients

  • 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

Lemon Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • 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.

 

57 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Tracy
    03.29.2022

    5 stars
    This is my new favorite salad! It is better than what I can usually order in a restaurant. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Elizabeth Warren
    03.28.2022

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes that I have made from Love & Lemons. It was so easy to put together since I made the dressing and roasted the fennel in advanced. This recipe is very versatile. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I used walnuts and pistachios. I also didn’t have the pecorino, so left it off and it still tasted amazing! My boyfriend asked me to make this again, so it’s a winner!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.30.2022

      I’m so glad you both loved it!

  3. Laura
    03.28.2022

    4 stars
    The roasted fennel is delicious! I really enjoyed the salad but made a few modifications. I don’t like grapefruit so I left that out and added extra oranges. Radicchio is very bitter to me so I used just a little bit of that and added romaine. I used pepitas instead of pine nuts because I had those on hand.

  4. Meredith Price
    03.28.2022

    Made this as is with a few swaps due to ingredient.

    The grapefruit was phenomenal and really tied with the fennel nicely.

    If fennel is unfamiliar, do more of it grilled. Tossing it in the dressing first was key!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.30.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Mary Douglass Baum
    03.27.2022

    Loved this!! I added some spinach for more salad!

  6. Sarah Parker
    03.27.2022

    5 stars
    Really delicious salad, and the whole family loved it. Don’t skip the roasted fennel!

  7. SAVITHRI KONAMME
    03.24.2022

    5 stars
    Healthy and tasty citrus salad.

  8. Maggie Cooney
    03.24.2022

    5 stars
    Really good! I made a couple substitutions based I what I had in the kitchen, and it was really yummy!

  9. Laura Sprauer
    03.23.2022

    5 stars
    Loved the mix of raw and roasted fennel. This recipe is a keeper!

  10. Lorrie Orr from fabricpaperthread.blogspot.com
    03.22.2022

    Such a delicious recipe – perfect for this new season. The roasted fennel adds so much, as does the Parmesan cheese. Just lovely.
    (Lorriedolores2)

  11. Chelsea Petre
    03.22.2022

    5 stars
    So so delicious! Love the combo of sweet, salty, savory, and tangy. And the roasted fennel is incredible! As other commenters said it is a bit time consuming, but totally worth it. Will absolutely save this recipe!

  12. Kelly Ickes
    03.22.2022

    5 stars
    This Citrus Salad is the perfect thing for late winter/early spring in New England. The weather is so varied that it is common cold season and this salad packs in the vitamins. I made it using blood oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and sumo oranges. I love that you can vary the fruits as desired. The fennel two ways really adds a beautiful flavorful element. This is definitely a recipe to make regularly!

  13. Joanne McDonnell
    03.21.2022

    5 stars
    Incredibly refreshing bright salad! The entire family loved it which absolutely makes it a keeper. Due to a nut allergy switched out pine nuts for pepitas and it added nice crunch.

  14. Linda Miller
    03.21.2022

    4 stars
    We loved this salad. I appreciate the opportunity to try meal ideas, especially salads, that are outside of what I normally make. It was a lot of ingredients and steps, so I planned a simple meal of baked chicken and oven roasted carrots to go with it – to balance the workload. And I did as much as I could ahead of time. If I hadn’t, I think it would have been too much prep and assembly for meal time.

  15. Tova Teitelbaum
    03.19.2022

    5 stars
    Loved the combination of flavors in this salad! It was so good plus healthy and nutritious!

  16. Annika Carnes
    03.18.2022

    5 stars
    I just made this salad for the first time and it is truly amazing! The combination of the citrus, avocado and fennel (roasted and raw) is just perfect! It took a little time to put together the salad since one fennel bulb needs to be roasted but it was well worth the effort. I used a Spicy Calabrian Pesto olive oil in the dressing and it gave the salad a little kick. So yummy! I didn’t have any pine nuts so substituted with walnuts which was also very tasty. I will definitely make this salad again.

  17. Laura Mullin
    03.18.2022

    5 stars
    Completely amazing! This incorporates so many of my favorite ingredients. I did candy stripe beets instead of radicchio and pistachios instead of pine nuts. Total heaven.

  18. Susan Collison
    03.17.2022

    5 stars
    You did it again, Jeanine! A winner of a salad ~ and my first time to ever have fennel! The kicker was that my husband really REALLY liked it, and he won’t normally eat avacado, grapefruit, or try new things! I think HE is enjoying this cooking club as much as I am!!! The explosion of different flavors was refreshing and satisfying. We will be having this again…and again!

  19. LeeAnn Dobro
    03.17.2022

    5 stars
    Perfection in a salad! The way these ingredients work together is so wonderful. The understated dressing goes great with the bold salad ingredients. I didn’t know if my husband would be a fan as he is not a bit eater of fennel, radicchio or avocado, but he gobbled it right up! Thanks for an excellent recipe!

  20. Sinclair Rishel
    03.16.2022

    5 stars
    Gorgeous gorgeous! Everything plays so well together to create something much better than the sum of its (already lovely) parts.

    Sinclair Rishel

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.