Lemon Fennel Toasts

Lemony fennel salad & creamy dill yogurt sauce top toast to make an easy sweet and salty appetizer for spring. Also delicious with smoked salmon or cheese!

Lately, this has been our pre-dinner snack. It seems fancy (fancy for us, anyway) to have an appetizer just for two, but it’s less glamorous than that. When we’re cooking and photographing our meals, nights can get late and snacks have become necessary. Especially fast snacks. This one can be made in about 7 minutes, and if that’s too long for you, the components could even be mixed up (and kept separate) a few hours in advance.

If you’re vegetarian, don’t click away yet… yes, this is smoked salmon, but it’s the fennel that is the real star, and this can be adapted a number of ways. Spread some cheese as the bottom layer, or rub the toast with some garlic and a bit of salt… Anything just to add a little salty balance to the sweet & tangy shavings that will be piled on top.

Mix up the yogurt sauce simultaneously with the fennel mixture – you’ll use the same “splashes” of ingredients  for both.

Inspired by this salad (one of my favorites).

Lemon Fennel Toasts

Prep time
Total time
  • 1 fennel bulb, white part only
  • 3 squeezes lemon
  • Splash honey, agave, or sugar
  • A few pinches chopped dill
  • Whole grain bread slices, toasted
  • Sea salt
  • Smoked salmon or cheese (optional)
  • Garlic clove, for rubbing toast (optional)
For the yogurt dill sauce:
  • ½ cup yogurt of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Splash agave, honey, or sugar
  • Splash extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • ½ small garlic clove, minced (optional)
  1. Using a mandolin, slice paper thin shavings of fennel.
  2. In a small bowl, mix fennel shavings with the lemon juice, honey, dill, and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let the fennel sit and marinate in the juices for a few minutes while you prep the rest.
  3. Make the dill yogurt: Mix the yogurt, dill, lemon juice, agave, olive oil, garlic, if using, and pinches of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to use.
  4. Grill or toast the bread, rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt if desired, and drizzle with olive oil. Assemble toasts with salmon or cheese, if using, marinated fennel, and a dollop of the yogurt.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. What a fantastic starter! 🙂 I’m definitely making these for my next dinner party. Thank you for the great idea!

  2. 1) I’ve never had fennel, but would love to try it.
    2) I had no idea there was such a thing as Icelandic yogurt. I’m intrigued, as I’m going to Iceland in 10 days.
    3) This looks freaking delicious. Thank goodness I can tolerate gluten, again!

    • jeanine

      yea it’s called skyr yogurt (this brand: http://www.skyr.com). I had it a restaurant once and have been buying it since then. I wish I was going to Iceland in 10 days!

  3. I’ve never tried fennel before, but this makes me want to try it. Looks delish!

  4. Love how light and healthy this is! And it does look very fancy the way you arranged it.

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.