I’m pretty sure citrus fruit season was intentionally designed to follow the holiday season. Tart, bright orbs of citrus-y goodness are a stark contrast to the rich, decadent candies and desserts that were once so prevalent in our kitchen a month ago.
Our fruit bowl on the counter is currently overflowing with clementines making it easy to snag one in passing in lieu of a cookie or chocolate.
I’m taking full advantage of the season with this citrus salad with marinated fennel. Bright grapefruit juice is the base for the marinade and dressing used in this salad. Slices of clementines add a pop of sweetness while pomegranate seeds add a nice crunch.
To balance all the sweet, tart flavors I top the salad with hearty walnuts and goat cheese.
The underlying star of the salad is the marinated fennel. If you’ve ever tried raw fennel you know it has a strong, almost offensive licorice taste. But slicing it thin and letting it sit in a solution of grapefruit juice, honey, and salt for a day helps diffuse the flavors.
After the fennel soaks in the marinade, it imparts a nice flavor to the grapefruit juice which I use to lightly dress the salad when I’m ready to serve.
The prep for this salad took only a few minutes. If you’re serving this to a group, you can assemble all the ingredients at once and serve it right away or you can store each ingredient separately and throw some of them together when you’re ready to eat so you have salad all week. By the fourth day, just as I was using up the rest of the ingredients, the fennel had such a great flavor and texture.
Citrus Salad with Marinated Fennel
For the Marinated Fennel
- 1 Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced
- Juice from 1 Grapefruit
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tsp Salt
For the Salad
- 5-6 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Grapefruit, skin removed with a knife and cut into segments
- 3 Clementines, skin removed with a knife and cut into segments
- 1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
- 1/2 Cup Walnut Halves
- 2 Avocados, Sliced
In a large container with a lid, combine the grapefruit juice, honey and salt. Add the fennel, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
After the fennel has marinated, remove about a quarter cup of the marinade and pour over the spinach, tossing to combine. Assemble the salad by layering all of the ingredients. Serve and enjoy!