Shaved Fennel Salad

Shaved Fennel Salad Recipe

I have a couple regrets related to Super Natural Every Day. Nothing too major, but one is related to photography. I'll start by saying it's not always feasible to have a photo with every recipe in a cookbook. This is especially the case if you want other types of photos in your book, like I did. Here's the problem - recipes with photos get all the love. No photo, the recipe runs the risk of getting glazed over. And in this case, one of my very favorite recipes from the book, this simple shaved fennel salad, doesn't have a photo. So, here's my attempt to remedy that.

Fennel Salad Recipe

I think I made this salad a dozen times or more during the time I was working on the book. And prior to that, I had it a number of times at my friend Malinda's house, which is where I initially fell for it. It is a compelling combination of a short list of ingredients that don't sound particularly exciting on the page, but come together into something more than the sum of their parts. Shaved fennel, thin zucchini coins, arugula, dill, nuts, and feta are tossed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. That's it, really. Dead simple. I use this mandoline to make feathery whispers of fennel, but if a knife is what you've got, that'll work too. The version in my book calls for pine nuts, but I had sliced almonds on hand today, so that's what I used instead. Either way. Helene shot a beautiful version of it on her site as well. Give it a go the next time you're looking for salad inspiration.

Shaved Fennel Salad

If you're using a knife to prep here, do your best to slice things very, very thinly - not quite see through thin, but close

1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
2/3 cup / .5oz/ 15g loosely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup / 80ml fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
1/3 cup / 80ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
fine grain sea salt
4 or 5 generous handfuls arugula
Honey, if needed
1/2 cup / 2 oz/ 60g pine nuts, toasted (I used almonds)
1/3 cup / 2 oz / 60g / feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. If the lemons were particularly tart, you may need to counter the pucker-factor by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • i love the idea of shaved veggies...it just makes them sound so light and dainty and delicious!

    Heather
  • Yes, the poor recipes with no photos. They do get over looked. Your opening photo is quite beautifully lit and so perfectly clear. I am collecting some recipes that don't require an oven and can be made at our lake house next month. This would be a good one! Thank you.

    Snippets of thyme
  • Your book was my favorite birthday present this year, and I dug into it like the NYTimes best-seller that it is on my commute to work. It's an interesting conundrum: either using one's imagination to conjure up a dish, or finding a gorgeous picture of a meal and wanting to recreate it.

    Molly
  • Your fennel salad looks awesome! And the part about recipes being glossed over without a photo that accompanies it...so true. I admit that I am guilty of that and in general, cookbooks that have few or poor photos, I dont even open those cookbooks. I have your book and I love it!! And I admit, I picture-surfed first, read recipes second :)

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
  • This is beautiful! I'm so glad you gave this salad its time in the spotlight ;) I especially love that I can get all of these ingredients at the farmer's market right now. Nothing like a super fresh summer salad (hold the cheese and honey, for me, obviously, but everything else will still be perfectly delicious)!

    JL goes Vegan
  • I love the book - and please don't have any regrets - it is more than equal to all the other books out there! I've actully already made a few recipes, but not this one. So perhaps I should give it a go pretty soon. It looks beautiful!

    Ruth
  • I am guilty as charged, one of those who did glaze over this one. But, these photos have grabbed my attention. I actually have no experience with fennel. I was given some as a sort of CSA hand-me-down once, and was lost. This looks nice and simple, and like one of my weekend lunches I'll be shopping for. The almond sub is right up my alley too. Thanks again for inspiring another near future meal. Now if I can entice my three year old to try it....

    Niki (of SI)
  • Wonderful Heidi - I've just printing the picture out to tuck between the pages. I absolutely adore both your supernatural books - they're in constant rotation in our kitchen. Looking forward to the next! And thank you for the super healthy and super flavoursome inspiration.

    Lorena
  • What a refreshing and bright salad! Love the additions of the fennel and nuts as well. Thanks also for sharing the photos - I feel like they always help to make a recipe come to life (which is super helpful for a home cook trying to recreate it!)

    Anjali Shah
  • Love this salad! So delicious and so bright and summery.

    Banana Wonder
  • This looks wonderful. Love the ingredients. Have lots of arugula (had to look that one up - we call it rocket) in the garden. Will be a good one for our B&B guests. Very French. Many thanks.

    Barbara Walton
  • In all honesty, I would've pounced all over this salad recipe, with or without photographs, as It has many of my favorite components. But if you're still reading, I'll confess that the photos do evoke a serious craving.

    Marysol
  • Even though I usually overlook recipes without photos, i find the stories behind the recipes plus the unique ingredients in Super Natural Every Day are compelling enough to make me want to make the dishes. That is the sign of a good cookbook.

    la domestique
  • Ah but I also think the little blurbs that authors sometimes put before recipes--things like personal experiences and preferences with the food--always win me over too, and sometimes I think they are even more important than photos. You always have such wonderful "blurbs", and it was the one preceding your baked oatmeal recipe that prompted me to try it this morning. I loved the recipe very much, as I do your whole book!

    Amy
  • Its 8 o'clock in the morning and I only just had breakfast, but your pictures of this salad really make me hungry. I love dill, in just about anything. It has such a fresh flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

    Lena
  • Well, I do think you're right about the 'photo helps the recipe to be noticed thing', but in this case.. Yes it looks beautiful on these photo's, but that list of ingredients draws my attention anyway. One of those recipes I will actually really make and not forget about. Feta, dill and fennel.. whish I thought/knew of it before!

    frederike
  • Thanks for highlighting this recipe Heidi. I do have to admit to often overlooking the photo-less recipes in books. I was eyeing up big juicy fennel bulbs at the vege store just this morning and love feta and nuts in just about everything. Awesome work on the book sales! Selling out must be a great feeling :-)

    emm
  • I just received you book in the mail and I am loving it! It has become my bedside reading. :) This salad looks so beautiful and fresh. I best it would be fantastic with parsley and bufala mozzarella as well!

    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
  • I always enjoy reading and making the recipes sans photo. I always feel like I might be stumbling upon a diamond in the rough or something!

    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
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