Insalata Palermitana

Insalata Palermitana, with Blood Oranges and Navel Oranges

Insalata Palermitana, with Blood Oranges and Navel Oranges

Orange and Fennel Salad from Palermo

I got this recipe from a lovely book by Susan Simon called INSALATE: Authentic Italian Salads for All Seasons.  It’s in the winter section.  I served this to the family as part of Christmas dinner.  Comments from diners were about the nice balance of flavors, and that this is subtle.  It’s perfect now that we’re getting the seasonal citrus.  Fennel is sometimes called anise in the produce section, and is getting easier to find in grocery stores now.  This is the time to practice making your orange supremes.  For a how-to, complete with pictures, look here.

Serves 6


  • cutting board
  • paring knife
  • chef’s knife
  • large bowl
  • small bowl
  • measuring spoons


  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fruity vinegar such as blackberry or raspberry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel (reserve fronds), halved lengthwise, and cut into thin crosswise slices
  • 4 navel oranges (or blood oranges), peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick slices, then halved crosswise
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted black olives, such as kalamata

  1. Soak the onion in a small bowl of salted ice water for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour to remove the bite.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
  3. Coarsely chop the reserved fennel fronds. Add the oranges, fennel, fronds, and olives to the dressing. Drain the onions and squeeze them dry. Add the onions to the bowl. Toss to thoroughly combine. Serve immediately.
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