Fennel, Grapefruit, and Arugula Salad

Fennel, Grapefruit, and Arugula Salad

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
429 Calories
29g Fat
45g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 429
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 68mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 17%
Dietary Fiber 13g 47%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 116mg 581%
Calcium 137mg 11%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1158mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a lovely salad: bright, refreshing, and with a unique mix of flavors and textures. Juicy, sweet-tart grapefruit is balanced by peppery arugula, creamy avocado, and crisp, aromatic fennel. It's great for cleansing the palate and aiding digestion alongside or after a heavier main course. The grapefruit juice, mixed with some olive oil, becomes the salad dressing.

I first tasted grapefruit and fennel together in a salad at a pizzeria and instantly fell in love with the idea. I kept making different versions of it over the years and the one below is now my general go-to recipe, though I often add beets as well. You can take this basic idea and come up with variations depending on your fancy or whatever happens to look good in the market that day.


  • 4 cups fresh arugula

  • 1 small bulb fennel, or 1/2 of a large bulb of fennel

  • 1 medium grapefruit, ruby red or pink, cut into segments and juice retained

  • 1 small avocado, ripe

  • 1 scallion, dark green part only

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 dash fine sea salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fennel, Grapefruit, and Arugula Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Wash and dry the arugula thoroughly.

    arugula in a colander

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Cut the stalks off of the top of the fennel bulb (retain some of the feathery fronds for garnishing the salad), slice off the tough root end of the bulb, cut the bulb in half lengthwise, and slice into thin strips.

    fennel bulb cleaned and sliced on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Cut the grapefruit into segments without any peel, membrane, or white pith attached. These are called suprèmes. Be sure to retain any juice released during cutting and to squeeze the leftover core to get the juice out of that as well. You will need it for dressing the salad.

    grapefruit slices on a cutting board and grapefruit juice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Peel the avocado and slice it lengthwise into thin segments.

    sliced avocado on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Slice the the dark green part of the scallion into thin pieces (about 1/4 of an inch thick). 

    sliced scallion greens

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  7. Thoroughly whisk the retained grapefruit juice together with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

    grapefruit juice and olive oil in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  8. Toss the arugula and chopped scallion lightly in the dressing, then divide it evenly between 4 servings bowls or plates.

    Toss the arugula and chopped scallion lightly in the dressing

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  9. Arrange fennel and avocado slices and grapefruit segments on top or around each serving of arugula.

    salad on plates

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  10. Garnish with finely chopped fennel fronds (from the stalks).

    Fennel, Grapefruit, and Arugula Salad

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute the grapefruit with blood oranges or regular oranges.
  • Substitute the arugula with watercress or any salad greens.
  • Add toasted pine nuts or walnuts, roasted beets, or pomegranate seeds.

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