Fennel & Arugula Salad

A simple and flavorful 30-minute spring salad with tossed arugula, lemon-marinated fennel & cucumber, basil, feta, and pine nuts. Vegetarian & gluten free.

We’ve eaten this at least once a week for the past few months. Serve it side-by-side with a bowl of soup or make it a meal by adding grilled scallops, shrimp, or tofu.

Thin slices of marinated fennel and cucumbers create a tangy bite which nicely balances the light, spicy arugula.

I’ve made this for a number of friends and have been asked for this recipe countless times. After typing it out to the last person, I realized my email outbox was starting to look like a food blog. It was that moment that I decided to stop putting things off already and get this site up…

Fennel & Arugula Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, shaved thin
  • 1 small or ½ large cucumber, peeled and shaved thin
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2-3 large handfuls arugula
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • Small handful feta cheese, to taste
  • Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey (optional)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Toss the shaved fennel and cucumber with with the lemon, olive oil, agave nectar (if using), and a pinch of salt and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toast and chop the pine nuts.
  3. Put the arugula in a large bowl and toss with the marinated fennel & cucumbers, pouring most of the lemon dressing on top. Taste and adjust salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and agave to your liking.
  4. Top with the toasted pine nuts, basil, and feta. A pinch of red pepper flakes is a nice touch here, too.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. beti from betivanilla.blogspot.com

    arugula has a really interesting flavor, but the whole combination of the salad seems to work pretty good!

  2. Rosemary

    I paired your salad with Martha Stewart’s Beer Can Chicken with Fig Pan Sauce. It was the perfect complement to the richness of the chicken. I stumbled across your recipe after I saw that fennel and arugula were good paired with fig. Thanks so much! We will be making this again and again.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.