Shaved Fennel Salad

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.
shaved fennel salad in a salad bowl
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.

close-up photo of arugula
 I use this mandoline to make feathery whispers of fennel, but if a knife is what you've got, that'll work too. If you use a mandoline just be extra careful. Like many cooks, my worst kitchen incident involved a mandoline. 

close up photo of fennel that has been shaved on a mandoline
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 in a salad bowl

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Shaved Fennel Salad

5 from 2 votes

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.


Serves 4 to 6.

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

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Recipe Rating


Do you think I could substitute kalamata olives for the feta to make it vegan? Or would you recommend something else? Thanks!


True - recipes without pictures are so easy to overlook. Take the "Lemon zested bulgur wheat": so easy, extremely delicious, and pretty enough for a thousand photographs.


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.


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

Thank you for the photos! I had looked at this recipe in the cook book and wondered about it. It looks very tasty. I was wondering though... is it possible to leave out the dill? Or substitute it for something else? I've tried and tried to like dill and all of my efforts have been thwarted.


Even though there isn't a photo I had already marked this one in my copy of Super Natural Every Day :) Looks deliciously summery


Thank you for this! Your cookbook has not left my counter since I bought it... i've made about a dozen of the recipes (some multiple times already). it's fantastic.


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

I just received your new book - I love it - simple and beautiful. I want to make everything. I am so glad you added the photo of this salad!!

Shannon Demma

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.


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!


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!


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!


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 :-)


looks like I'll be heading to the store again today! Love your blog and am waiting for both your books to arrive at my door! LOVE fennel!

Amber Baley

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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