I think fennel is way too underrated. It’s one of my absolute favorite vegetables and I’m just waiting for the day that it becomes “the new” kale so that everyone will love fennel salad as much as I do. The wisps of raw fennel soak up olive oil and lemon juice just enough that they wilt slightly, but still keep a tender bite. I usually pair fennel salad with something juicy (peaches!), something creamy (feta and/or pesto), and something crunchy (pistachios).
My Fennel Salad Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what’s in this super simple fennel salad:
- Shaved fennel, for a crisp, flavorful base. If you have a mandoline, now is the time to use it. It’s the perfect tool for getting uniform, paper-thin slices of fennel that will soften in the bright lemon dressing.
- Lemon, to make the fennel soften & sing
- Cucumbers, to match the cool crispness of the fennel
- Peaches, for bites of soft, juicy sweetness
- Pesto, for bright, nutty richness
- Feta, for creamy texture & tangy flavor
- Pistachios, for crunch!
Of course, I tossed on a handful of mint and basil for good measure.
This is a great side dish, or add some roasted chickpeas to make it more of a meal. It keeps well in the fridge for about 2 days, so I like to have it with dinner on the first night and for lunch the next day.
If you love this fennel salad recipe…
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin
- 2 Persian cucumbers, very thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more for to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
- ⅓ cup mixed basil and mint
- 2 tablespoons toasted and crushed pistachios
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese*
- Scoops of pesto (recipe below)
- In a medium bowl, toss together the fennel, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and several grinds of black pepper.
- Arrange the fennel mixture on a platter along with the peaches, herbs, pistachios, feta, and scoops of pesto. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste as desired.
- Serves 4 as a side.
½ cup pepitas
1 small garlic clove
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups fresh basil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a small food processor, combine the pepitas, garlic, salt, and several grinds of black pepper and pulse until combined. Add the lemon juice and basil and pulse again. With the blade running, drizzle in the olive oil.