Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Fennel and Orange Salad with Cara Cara Shallot Vinaigrette for Easter

Fennel and Orange Salad with Cara Cara Shallot Vinaigrette for Easter, featuring the glorious colors of Spring. (photos by Deborah Brooks)


Easter is a holiday that evokes springtime with its glorious garden of colors. Think Easter bonnets of days gone by parading down 5th Avenue. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 19th century in New York City, when ladies gussied up in their finest new clothing for all to see. Like spring and Easter, this custom represented a visual and spiritual sense of renewal.

I wanted to evoke a bit of vintage nostalgia for those days of yore with my recipe and so created this springtime salad with its vibrant colors that pop off of the plate and intense flavors that pop off of the palate. This side salad will definitely be a showstopper in your parade of dishes for your Easter buffet table.

Please note that the flowers are edible and are available from Kenter Canyon Farms at Erewhon. The Cara Cara oranges and roasted pistachios are from Nicholas Family Farms while the fennel bulbs and arugula are from Country Fresh Herbs, both vendors at the Sunday Larchmont Farmers Market. For a less intense bite of greens, I suggest using baby spring mix in place of the arugula.

The dressing was inspired by those sweet Cara Cara oranges, and a bottle of shallot-infused olive oil I purchased in Ojai on a recent visit. You can order the shallot oil and other delicious infused oils and vinegars online at Otherwise you can substitute the shallot olive oil with regular extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of finely minced shallot. I’ve noted that in the dressing recipe.

A Happy Easter to all who celebrate.


Fennel and Orange Salad with Cara Cara Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves about 6 as a side salad

5 cups arugula or baby spring mix
3-4 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (1 and ½ large bulbs)
2 Cara Cara oranges peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios
Cara Cara Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1-2 Cara Cara oranges peeled and sliced in rings
2-3 T shelled roasted pistachios
6-8 edible flowers
Handful of fennel frond sprigs

In a large mixing bowl toss the greens, sliced fennel, orange chunks and 1/2-cup pistachios with vinaigrette dressing to taste. (I suggest lightly dressed and serve additional dressing on the side.)

Arrange the tossed salad on a serving platter.

Top with orange slices, additional pistachios, edible flowers and fennel frond sprigs in a pretty design. Serve immediately.

Refrigerate any leftovers.


The dressing was inspired by those sweet Cara Cara oranges, and a bottle of shallot infused olive oil I purchased in Ojai on a recent visit.


Cara Cara Shallot Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

4 T champagne vinegar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Cara Cara orange juice
Zest of 1 Cara Cara orange
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
1 heaping tsp dark agave syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2-cup shallot infused olive oil
1/2 cup additional EVOO and 1 T finely minced shallot

Whisk together all ingredients except the 2 oils until very well combined. Slowly whisk in the 2 oils until emulsified. Taste for flavor and seasoning. Adjust to your taste. Best made at least a few hours ahead to let flavors develop. Refrigerate and let come to room temperature before serving.


Edible flowers found at Erewhon; Cara Cara oranges and roasted pistachios from Nicholas Family Farms, fennel bulbs and baby arugula from Country Fresh Herbs, at the Wednesday and Sunday Larchmont Farmers Market.


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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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