Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad

February 25, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Three of our winter standbys -- an orange, an onion, and a fennel bulb -- walk into an oven together, and morph into a warm winter salad that virtually dresses itself. Adapted slightly from All About Roasting: A New Approach to A Classic Art (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011).Genius Recipes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 pound untrimmed)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small navel orange, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F (375 degrees convection). Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (this prevents the oranges from sticking to the pan).
  2. Trim the fronds from the fennel. Stand a bulb on its base on the cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise, cutting from the core end to the stem end. (If the bulb is more oblong than round, as some are, you will create two halves that are thinner and flatter rather than thicker and bulbous.) Use a paring knife to remove most of the core from each half (no need to get it all out). Lay each half flat on the cutting surface and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick crescent-shaped slices. Toss onto the baking sheet and repeat with the second fennel bulb if you have two.
  3. Cut the onion in half, cutting from root to stem end. Peel and remove the root end from both halves. Slice the onion halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons and add to the fennel.
  4. Next, slice about 1 1/2 inches off each end of the orange and reserve (you'll use these later to squeeze over the salad). Stand the orange up on one cut end and cut it lengthwise in half, and then cut each half lengthwise in half again, leaving you with 4 pieces. Arrange each quarter with cut side down and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick quarter-moon-shaped pieces.
  5. Add the orange to the fennel and onion. Drizzle the olive oil on top and season well with salt and plenty of pepper. Toss to coat and arrange as best you can in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  6. Roast, stirring with a spatula after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking and again every 10 minutes or so. The vegetables close to the edge of the pan will brown more quickly than those in the center, so stirring and then shaking the pan to restore an even layer helps everything cook at the same rate. Continue roasting until the vegetables and orange are tender and the outer edges are beginning to caramelize, 25 to 45 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish (I like to use a wide, shallow bowl). Let cool for at least 15 minutes or to room temperature. Squeeze the juice from one of the reserved orange ends over the salad and taste. If it tastes a little flat, add a pinch of salt and squeeze the other orange piece over it. Drizzle with a little of your best olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Reviews (28) Questions (2)

28 Reviews

Poniesss403 February 26, 2018
Inspired to make this a more filling salad for a desk lunch, I combined it with roasted carrots (roasted them with sage and a curry powder I had lying around), and threw some lentils on top. Mixed this salad, carrots, and lentils together and plated with ricotta mixed with olive oil and za'atar and it is DEVINE. I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow! Thank you for this delicious and versatile recipe!
 
Judy N. October 11, 2016
I love your roasted fennel, onion, and orange salad. It's wonderful. For some reason this time my orange peel went tooth-endangering tough. Never happened before. Any idea why?
 
Kristen M. October 11, 2016
How odd—my first thought is that the orange might have been a bit dried out (either due to age or just the nature of that particular orange), and so it dried out even more in the oven and got tough. In any case, sounds like a bummer to eat around—sorry to hear it!
 
Walter B. January 31, 2016
I was curious, because my cara cara orange was pleasantly sweet, and both the kitchn.com and wikipedia describe the cara cara as a cross between two kinds of navel orange.
 
Kathleen P. January 18, 2016
Found the tastes and textures to be significantly better at room temp, rather than warm.
 
Sarah January 6, 2016
This looks delicious! I am wondering about the bitterness factor of the peel though. I've made a NYT recipe with whole/non-peeled slices of caramelized lemon that calls for blanching the slices before caramelizing to cut the bitterness. Would that technique work here?
 
alexkeywest January 4, 2016
I've been making a raw salad with these ingredients, although sliced much thinner, for years and using a orange vinaigrette. I followed the instructions very carefully. Fortunately, I arranged each ingredient separably on the sheet pan. The fennel and onion were where I wanted them about 10 minutes before the oranges. I think some of the complaints about bitterness are related to under cooked orange. I I do this again, I'll sprinkle a little sugar on the orange so it caramelizes more quickly.
 
Helene December 27, 2015
This made for an amazing side dish, paired with roasted salmon. Cutting instructions made the roasting of each element perfect and all flavors came together in a wonderful balanced and colorful dish. The orange brings a nice addition of sweet and bitter. Will definitely make it again.
 
Sara F. November 16, 2015
I thought this was only ok. I didn't think the orange added anything, except a bitterness which I didn't like and neither did the rest of my family. I'd roast fennel and red onion together again, but I'd either leave out the orange and just squeeze some orange juice on after the vegetables have cooked, or try it with lemon (since I like roasted lemon).
 
Thaichile October 6, 2015
Has anyone attempted to roast orange segments without the skin as part of the overall dish?
 
Kerry G. July 20, 2015
SO, so good. I broiled at the end to get some nice caramel/crispy bits. Added some sultanas too. Served with a vegetarian chickpea/saffron/spinach stew (adapted from love and lemons website).
 
Taylor S. July 15, 2015
This was fantastic. Would definitely make again.
 
Lisa B. May 5, 2014
Do you think I could make this the night before serving at a dinner party?<br />
 
Maylin M. March 15, 2014
Love love love!!! Great taste.
 
Vivi B. March 12, 2014
Oooh, I loved this. I overcooked it and got the proportions wrong and I STILL loved it. Such a beautiful and delicious combination of colours and flavours.
 
gorzd March 9, 2014
Delicious - will make it again. Used a very juicy organic naval orange, added a little salt.
 
Paul March 6, 2014
I thought this dish was just OK. I added what I thought was a significant amount of salt, and it still seems rather flat to me. And contrary to what Sarah said, I do think this serves 4 people. Each person gets about a fist-sized portion, which is more than enough.
 
neighome April 4, 2014
I found that salt was key to the flavoring. My first taste after what I thought was a generous salting was very disappointing. So I added a bit more. The flavor improved to OK, but not delicious. Encouraged by the improvement, I kept adding salt, tasting, and eventually voila! I had a really delicious dish. Adults and kids alike gobbled it up.
 
Natalie B. March 5, 2014
So tasty! I can't wait to make this again. I found that it made only enough for a side for two.
 
Sarah H. March 4, 2014
This tasted quite good, but in the quantities suggested comes out to little more than a small side salad for two people - more of a tasty bite than a substantial side in a meal. Given that and the frequent checking needed in order to stir while roasting, I'm not sure this would be worth it if you were feeding more than two.
 
Anthony B. March 1, 2014
We devoured this--absolutely brilliant. I actually loved the faint bitterness and the sweetness of the orange. Served with the chicken adobo elsewhere on this site--a great cultural mashup!
 
kschurms February 28, 2014
This is almost the exact same recipe my family has been making for years; we call it a Sicilian orange salad. The only difference is that we add some black olives. The saltiness pairs perfectly with citrus.