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Fennel-Orange Salad with Harissa and Yogurt

Fennel-Orange Salad with Harissa and Yogurt

Talk about a flavor explosion! This fennel-orange salad is packed with so many different tastes and textures, each bite is sure to leave you wondering why you’ve never made this before. The first time I made it was during my time in the Natural Food Chef program. We called it the ‘Hungry Caterpillar Salad’ because it reminded us so much of the book by Eric Carl. Before the program, I had never tasted raw fennel so my world completely changed after that. Now I make a point to add raw fennel to most salads or soups that I can.

Why We Love It

This is probably one of the most unique dishes I have ever made. I never imagined all these ingredients could come together and make not only a delicious dish, but also a nutrient-packed one. I love to make this during springtime because it’s so refreshing and bright. The nutrients in this dish really shine with the vibrant colors.

Fennel has an incredible flavor, and can also be a great remedy to soothe cramping, gas, and bloating naturally. The bell peppers and oranges offer a touch of sweetness and are packed full of vitamin C. I love the addition of the harissa mixed with yogurt—a creamy blend of spice and cool. The olives and almonds add healthy fats, while the mint adds a cooling touch. The variety of the dish really speaks for itself and will be sure to wow the crowd at your next event. I am planning to make this for Mother’s Day, and highly recommend you do, too!

Fennel-Orange Salad with Harissa and Yogurt


2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise

2 T lemon juice

Kosher salt

1 navel orange or grapefruit, cut into ¼-inch-thick half-rounds

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 T harissa paste, plus more as needed (can be substituted with sriracha)

1/2 t white sugar (optional)

1 sweet mini pepper, stemmed, sliced into thin rings

1/2 cup pitted olives, roughly chopped

1/3 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

1/3 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped


  1. In a large bowl, toss the fennel, lemon juice, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt, gently rubbing the salt into the fennel. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grate the zest from the orange (about 1 tablespoon); set aside. Slice ½ inch off the top and bottom of the orange.
  3. Stand the orange on a cut end and cut from top to bottom following the contours of the fruit to remove the peel and white pith. Halve the orange from top to bottom, then slice each half into ¼-inch-thick half-rounds.
  4. After the fennel has rested for 30 minutes add the orange zest, oil, harissa (or sriracha), and sugar, toss to combine. Add the orange slices, pepper rings, olives and almonds, then toss again. Taste and season with salt and harissa.
  5. Dollop the yogurt into the center of a platter, spreading it in an even layer. Using a slotted spoon, mound the salad on top of the yogurt. Sprinkle with mint.

Don’t slice the fennel paper-thin. Aim for slices between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. This salad is all about texture. By rubbing the fennel with salt and lemon, the thicker slices will become pleasingly crisp-tender. Fennel sliced too thin will wilt and become soggy.

Recipe from: Milk Street
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Want to make a homemade harissa paste? Here’s the recipe.

Supplies needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large platter
  • Microplane
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Slotted spoon
  • Tongs

Become More Confident in the Kitchen

By going through the Natural Food Chef program you will gain confidence in the kitchen, fast.  Class meets 3 times a week from 10 am -6 pm for 15 weeks.  Students prepare lunch and dinner most every day.  This allows the time and space to gain skills, and get feedback from peers and the chef instructors, all the while getting to eat all of the delicious food that is prepared.  This builds students’ cooking skills from day 1 in the program.  Attend a live cooking demonstration to hear from one of the chef instructors and learn more about this incredible health-centered culinary program!

We want to see it!

We would love to hear your feedback, see your creations, and share your recipe photo with the NTI community! Tag your photos on Instagram and/or Facebook with @ntischool, #ntieats, and #ntischool

About the Author: Meghan McGee is a graduate of NTI’s Certified Natural Food Chef program as well as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She believes food is the most powerful catalyst that brings people together. Sitting around a table, enjoying a nourishing meal with strangers or friends is her absolute favorite thing to do. Her mission is to inspire others to take control of their health.

Image by Meghan McGee