fennel-salad-with-parmesan

This shaved fennel salad is light and refreshing, pairing the raw vegetable with apple, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.

Fennel Salad

“I thought I didn’t like fennel salads, until I tried this one.” That was my dad after taking a few bites of this salad, and what an endorsement! This delightful fennel salad is one anyone can enjoy despite any preconceptions, pairing the shaved raw vegetable with sweet apple, zingy lemon and savory Parmesan cheese. Delicate fennel fronds make a feathery garnish, and each bite is irresistibly crunchy with a pop of acidity. Welcome to our (and your?) new favorite side dish, versatile enough to pair with fish, chicken, or vegetarian mains beautifully.

Ingredients in fennel salad

There are several common flavor pairings with the licorice bite of fresh fennel. A common Mediterranean pairing is fennel and orange, like this Fennel Orange Salad. This shaved salad features fennel and apple, another ideal pairing where the sweetness of the fruit offsets the licorice crunch of the vegetable. Here’s what you’ll need for this salad:

  • Fresh fennel heads, plus fennel fronds for garnish
  • Apple
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Fennel Salad

How to cut fennel

The most difficult part of this fennel salad? Thinly slicing the fennel! This vegetable can be tricky if you haven’t worked with it before. Here are the basic steps to how to cut fennel: or head to this video tutorial for more!

  • Chop off the stalks and root end. Using a large chef’s knife, chop off the fennel stalks. Save them because you’ll use the wispy parts, the fronds, in the salad. Cut off the root end.
  • Remove outer layers. Remove any tough outer layers of the fennel and discard them.
  • Slice in half, then in half moons. Slice down the center of the fennel bulb. Place it on its cut side and cut very thin half-moon slices parallel to the root end.

Remember to save those wispy parts: the fennel fronds! They look a bit like dill, and infuse even more fresh flavor into the salad.

Fennel

Tips for fennel salad

This fennel salad is ultra simple: toss all the ingredients together with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. It makes for beautifully fresh flavor with very simple ingredients. Here are a few more things to note with this fennel salad:

  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. It’s best right away, but you can refrigerate for a few hours if necessary.
  • It lasts up to 3 days refrigerated. It does lose some flavor over time, so refresh the flavors with more salt, lemon juice or lemon zest as needed.
  • Other flavor adders? Add a crunchy nut like chopped pecans, walnuts, or pistachios. Add sliced shallot for another savory element. Or swap apples for oranges and add thinly sliced red onion.
Fennel Salad

More fresh fennel recipes

Fresh fennel is a unique vegetable that adds intrigue in flavor: its raw licorice flavor is softened when cook. Here are a few ideas to try after this fennel salad:

This fennel salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Fennel Salad

Fennel Salad with Parmesan


Description

This shaved fennel salad is light and refreshing, pairing the raw vegetable with apple, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.


Ingredients

  • 2 heads fennel (4 to 5 cups sliced), plus fennel fronds
  • 1 apple
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


Instructions

  1. Using a large chef’s knife, chop off the fennel stalks, saving them for the garnish. Then cut off the root end of the fennel. Remove any tough outer layers of the fennel and discard them. Slice down the center of the fennel bulb. Place it on its cut side and cut very thin half-moon slices parallel to the root end. (Go to How to Cut Fennel for more. You can also use a mandolin to cut very thin slices if you have one.)
  2. Thinly slice the apple. Place the fennel and apple slices in a medium bowl, and add the shaved Parmesan cheese (cut shavings with a vegetable peeler). 
  3. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pull off the wispy parts (the fronds) with your fingers, and roughly tear them, adding enough for about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Place them in the bowl. 
  4. Gently toss the salad with your hands until it’s evenly coated, taking care not to break the apple slices. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until serving. Stores up to 3 days refrigerated; refresh the flavors with a pinch of salt and a bit of lemon juice or zest if desired. 

  • icon clockPrep Time: 15 minutes
  • icon clockCook Time: 0 minutes
  • icon folderCategory: Side dish
  • icon squaresMethod: No cook
  • icon flagCuisine: Salad

Keywords: Fennel salad

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

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