Carla's Citrus, Fennel & Herb Salad

We make this salad in our Applied Knife Techniques class to demonstrate how to use a mandoline to thinly slice the onion and fennel, as well as how to use a knife (properly!) to chop herbs and segment citrus. It makes a lovely accompaniment to roast chicken (which we also teach you how to do, properly, in the class). 

Serves 4, as a side

Ingredients: Dressing

1 orange
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients: Salad

1/2 red onion
1/2 fennel bulb, core removed
A handful of fresh chopped herbs (chives, parsley, coriander, mint, basil, etc), to taste
50g salad leaves (rocket, baby spinach, watercress, etc.), washed and dried
1/2 small red chilli, de-seeded and diced (optional)
Flaky sea salt


  1. Slice the very top and very bottom off an orange, so that it can stand on the cutting board upright. At an angle, following the curve of the orange, carefully cut the skin and pith from the flesh from top to down. Then, hold the peeled orange in one palm; the top and bottom should be perpendicular to your hand, and the segments should face up. Now, you want to cut the flesh of the orange, in segments, away from the membrane that is holding the fruit together. With a small, sharp paring knife in your other hand, slice along the inner edges of each segment, so the membrane is always along the outer side of the blade. Repeat for the rest of the fruit. The membrane will remain in your hand after you have cut away all the segments from it. Set the segments aside, and reserve the membrane and peel.

  2. Squeeze the remaining membrane into an empty bowl for the dressing. Squeeze the orange peels into the bowl too, to extract as much juice as possible. Add rice vinegar and salt to the bowl and pour in the olive oil in a slow stream while whisking. Adjust the oil, vinegar and salt to taste.

  3. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the red onion thinly and add it to the dressing. Leave them for 10 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, thinly slice the fennel using a mandoline or sharp knife. Next, finely chop the herbs and chilli (if using) and set aside.

  4. Add salad leaves to a large bowl. Add the red onion slices, along with a few spoons of the dressing, and toss. Taste and adjust the amount of dressing desired. Add the fennel and herbs. Taste again to see if it's missing anything, and adjust accordingly. Finally, add the segments, chilli (if using), and a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt.