Moroccan Orange Salad

The city of Tangier – perched on the northwestern tip of Morocco – was declared an International Zone after World War I and was jointly ruled by nine different countries, all reluctant to relinquish control of this glamorous port. The winding alleyways of the old city became a haven for smugglers, agents, double agents, and movie stars. Hotel El Minzah was the place to see and be seen. Like the motley cast of characters who sipped cocktails on the patio of the hotel, this salad brings together strong players –sweet oranges, cool fennel and mint, salty olives – that result in an enticing blend.

moroccan orange salad
El Minzah Orange Salad from Well Fed

Serves 6-8 | Prep 15 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 4-5 large seedless oranges (about 3 pounds)

  • 1 fennel bulb (about 1 pound)

  • 1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 cup large black olives, pitted and cut in half

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons )

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • fennel fronds, minced, for garnish (about 1/2 tablespoon)


Use a sharp knife to peel the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pulp and the membrane on the outside of the orange sections. With your fingers, separate the sections and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl.


Remove the fronds from the fennel and reserve a few for garnish. Cut the ends off the fennel bulb, and slice it very thinly, crosswise. Add the fennel, onion, olives, and mint to the oranges. Gently combine with a rubber scraper.


In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, coriander, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a slow drizzle, whisking continuously. Pour the dressing over the oranges and toss gently to blend. Let the flavors meld for about an hour before serving. Taste, adjust seasonings, then top with minced fennel fronds.

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  • Amber says:

    This totally makes me think of the other magical sweet/savory combo of watermelon/tomato/basil. Must try!

  • Jessica says:

    Yum! I will be making this very soon. Thanks for the recipe.

  • mig says:

    What Amber said – this is going on my must-try list ASAP.

  • Melissa says:

    This looks GOOD. I am also an orange-pith hater! My boyfriend is always laughing at me for trying to peel all the pith off when I eat an orange (which is rare, because it's such a pain). He just chomps right through it, which grosses me out. Glad to see I am not the only one who is opposed to pith!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Ladies, you're going to love it! And it holds up in the fridge really well — I've been eating it for days, and the flavors are still bright and fresh.

  • Fontaine says:

    Even my kids love this one!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Fontaine, that's so cool that they don't think it's weird. I don't know if I would have eaten it when I was a kid…

  • Tess says:

    This is SO GOOD. I made it for a BBQ this weekend and loved it so much I just made another big bowl for myself to snack on all week. And I don't even like oranges!

  • Lauren says:

    This is amazing! I made it with your Moroccan Grilled Salmon for dinner tonight, and I loved it! I will be adding this duo to my regular rotation. Thanks for all the recipes. Your blog is fantastic.

    • Mel says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I think the orange+olive flavors are just so unexpected but also, so right. Thank you for your sweet words!

  • Steve says:

    For the pith-averse and membrane-averse out there, try this method. Use a serrated knife and slice off the top of the citrus just enough to remove the membrane. Sprial cut the rest of the peel and outer membrane off (it’s fun to try to get it all off in one cut). Then you cut between the membrane and the flesh, down to the center and back out gently removing the nice membrane-free good part of the citrus. No pith and no chewy membrane. Score.

  • BikramJen says:

    I jut tried this tonight with your Moroccan Grilled salmon and some roasted broccoli. Soooo good. My brother is coming from Oregon to see me in about ten days, and I am looking forward to making this deliciousness for him.

    • Mel says:

      Glad you liked it! And I love that you’re going to make it for your brother… makes me feel all gushy inside. Enjoy your visit with your bro!

  • Vanessa says:

    WOW!! This is so simple, so amazing and incredibly addictive!! It’s like a little party in my mouth: perfect combination of flavors and textures. I can’t wait to share your recipe with friends and family!! I’m making your salmon tonight to accompany this!! I’m sure that will delight too!

  • skyy says:

    hey Mel:

    Is it possible to get your old Orange Salad recipe? Not a big fan of fennel. Thanks

  • Melissa,

    I have had your Wellfed book for YEARS and refer to it at least once a week.

    Somehow I only made this recipe for the first time, last night! Coupled with your Apricot Meatballs from Wellfed 2, I cannot tell you what a big hit this was. All 5 of my kids went back for seconds, even my non-veggie eater!

    Thank you for being so generous with your time and your talents. This is going on our regular must-have menu for sure!