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!

Post Your Comment


This looks great! Found your site a couple of months ago and after a long 3 week wait just got your book from Amazon yesterday. I've made some of your cookie recipes and they've been outstanding! Looking forward to working through both your books.


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.


This is right up my alley. I love fennel!

Jessica @ How Sweet

Isn't it strange how (not that long ago) cookbooks didn't really have many (if any) photographs, and relied on the quality of the writing to stimulate appetites. Nowadays, if there isn't a photograph the recipe gets bypassed. The very best of today's books (including yours, Heidi) have both a unique 'voice' and beautiful, relevant photography, capturing not just the look of the recipes, but the mood of the book.


Your fennel salad looks awesome! And the part about recipes being glossed over without a photo that accompanies 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

Looks yummy and it's perfect for putting yet another fennel bulb I got in my CSA box to good use.


I bet this would be amazing atop some pizza bianca - yum! The mental picture alone is amazing.


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.


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

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

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 :)


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


    That sounds great Rhoda, and/or some ripe avocado!

    Heidi Swanson

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

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!


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.


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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