Shaved Fennel Salad Recipe

This could very well be my favorite salad recipe from Super Natural Every Day - shaved fennel, arugula, zucchini coins, feta, toasted almonds.

Shaved Fennel Salad

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.

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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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Oh, this looks like a delightful summer's eve salad. Thank you! I'm collecting as many "cooling" recipes as I can here - it's 35'C in Spain now, so this is perfecto. Cheers!

I can't wait to try this. Pictures are so important:-) I think I start tasting while looking at a beautiful food photo. This one looks so fresh and nice. Great for the heat we have been having here in NC. Thanks!

Cindy (clwpottery)

I can't wait to try this. Pictures are so important:-) I think I start tasting while looking at a beautiful food photo. This one looks so fresh and nice. Great for the heat we have been having here in NC. Thanks!

Cindy (clwpottery)

Heidi, I haven't made this recipe yet-- maybe this is the push I needed. I do have SNED and I am in love with your harissa ravioli recipe. Like might leave my husband for it love. I even served it to my foodie parents when they came into town for a visit, and they adored it. I also want to give the nod to your multigrain pancakes. Both were huge hits and have become regulars in my house. Your palette always delights and surprises.


Don't worry - the lack of photo didn't prevent me trying this recipe - and totally loving it! You are right when you say it is more than the sum of it's parts. One of the best salads I have had for ages. I am loving the book!


I LOVE fennel and have a hard time finding recipes that really showcase fennel. I can't wait to try it this weekend!

Barbie J

My mouth watered when I looked at the photo. This salad reminds me of a salad I had once at a now defunct restaurant here in Napa. It was similar in ingredients and its simplicity made it shine. If I close my eyes I can still taste that delicate fennel with hints of lemon. This salad will definitely be on the menu this weekend. Maybe I'll invite Geeg over to try it. Or maybe I'll be greedy and eat the whole thing myself!

Your cookbook has really inspired me. I used to get inspired by food shows, and then I saw your beautiful photography and delicious recipes. However, I still do love watching The Food Network. Watch this!

Food Lover

Absolutely adored the book, and since I come from a long line of twisted-by-corn-syrup taste buds, I tend to go through it slowly, springing the dishes one-at-a-time deliciously upon my family table. Thank you! I'm going to use this salad for a poolside nine-year-old soccer team party next week. I expect a few converts to your good cooking then.

Melissa from Trout Valley

@Rhoda-- I make an arugula salad with shaved fennel and oranges (or grapefruit) and avocado and toss it with a creamy dressing of ground macadamias blended with lemon juice, olive oil and soy milk. It's great, and vegan, and seems like it has dairy in it. This recipe looks terrific! Looking forward to trying it :)


My mom *loves* fennel... I'm bookmarking this for when it's in season again so that I can serve it to her as a surprise special treat!

How funny, your new post popped into my email box as I just finished making your Big Sur Power Bars for the first time. They are the BEST! My runner husband gobbles up Clif Bars like they are going out of style and this is an incredible homemade replacement (and improvement)! He better not get home from work late today because I just might gobble all these up! Love ALL of your work--thank you!

You're so right - I'm really bad about trying recipes that have no photo. It's true what they say though, we eat with our eyes.

If you could not have the feta or any type of dairy, what would you substitute if anything? I was thinking of oranges?


Agree - much like judging a book by its cover or a wine by its label, I tend to gravitate to the recipes with pictures. This looks awesome - I do something similar with brussel sprouts, pecorino, toasted hazelnuts, and truffle oil. So many variations possible...

Linda NYC

Oh wow... I think I just died & went to heaven! That looks like exactly what we need for this warm weather. Just gorgeous!

we received two bulbs of fennel in our CSA basket last week. and even though there wasn't a picture, I flipped to this recipe in SNED. it was delcious and my husband couldn't stop raving about it!


I was fortunate a few weeks ago to be able to get your book at my favorite independent bookstore, Vroman's in Pasadena, CA. I too was disappointed there weren't pictures for this recipe so thank-you for sharing.


Lack of a photo didn't stop me from making this salad, it is one of my favourite recipes from your new book. It is delicious! Nice to see your photos though. I used some olives when I made it and they were a nice addition.

This salad sounds really good but I must admit that I don't have a love on for dill...Would it be blasphemous to ask for a recommendation for a substitution?


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