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


You book arrived this week! It was well worth the wait -- I can't wait to try some of the recipes.


Yum! I love the flavor and crunch of fennel. Your salad sounds great!

I know what you mean! I have a cookbook coming out in the next year with every recipe having a picture, but my other books are in black and white. Great recipe!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Oh this salad looks so great, I love this kind, fresh, crispy under the teeth and so tasty !! But it's some time that I'm thinking about mandoline, would you have any advise ? And the pictures looks really great, sad you couldn't put them on the book, witch I might buy soon, I hope !! Looks great !


I love raw fennel. Recently, at my boyfriend's parents house, we realized that fennel had taken over his mother's herb garden. I yanked some up, totally excited to have the fennel bulb to eat. Turns out that fennel (the herb) is different than the fennel bulb we eat. Just a word to the wise :) Heidi, your ability to turn simple food into something to think on is unmatched. Thanks so much.


I often make a simple salad with arugula and shaved fennel with a lemon shallot vinaigrette. Seeing this combination of ingredients has inspired me to try adding the other ingredients to it! Beautiful photo!

Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks

I am new to fennel which I love roasted and I have heard shaved on salads is a great way to prepare it. I am definitely in the market for a mandoline. Thanks for the recommendation.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

I am one of the few who is more drawn to a recipe by the words used to describe it then the photo. I have several cookbooks with no photos and for me the worse offense is no descriptions. They are amongst the least used books I have. This salad sounds perfect and I will patiently wait until zucchini is in season at my CSA in the next month to make it. I have often made Alice Water's shaved fennel and mushroom salad which is amazing in its complexity for so few ingredients. I am betting that this one will also become a favorite.

Robin (Hippo Flambe)

I made this recipe a while ago (no photo did not stop me from appreciating fennel/lemon/dill combination based on the written word alone), and it's delicious! It's so nice of you to post it on the blog, so that even those who don't have your book can enjoy it.


I actually like it when a book has gorgeous photography (like yours), but not on all recipes. They are like hidden gems, a special surprise when you think you already have cooked all you could out of a book. They often end up being my favourite ones.


I just received your cookbook in the mail, and it's even prettier in person than it is on my screen! I can't wait to dive into the recipes, and I'll make sure to pay close attention to the recipes without photos, too! Love your blog!

Elizabeth @ Coppertop Kitchen

Oh, I love fennel! I usually do a fennel and cabbage salad, with white beans and dill, but I'll have to try the zucchini and arugula combination too. I'll also happily eat fennel striaght... just like candy... for dessert. The bulbs never last in my fridge!


my guilty pleasure is reading a cookbook from cover to cover, tagging first impressions with a coloured tag to retrieve quickly when i am ready to try out the recipe. what i have loved about both of your cookbooks is that your writing, stories, little blurbs on life are equally enticing and comforting as your photos are. i've already made this salad and its one of my favorite afternoon lunches! thank you!!


It's crazy, I know, but I've actually never had fennel. I eye it at the market all the time, but always pass since I have no idea what to do with it. This is perfect! Thank you for introducing me to new foods and ideas!


Nice. I've been enjoying fennel as a fresh tasting addition to all sorts of things lately, adding it in with onions and garlic for my starter sautes. I even put some on a veggie burger. My favorite is plain old braised leeks and fennel. I haven't eaten in on a salad, yet, for some reason. Will remedy that tonight! Thanks!


made this tonight for dinner! will be a regular from now on! thank-you. x


I love the simplicity of this salad. It's perfect for this time of year. Thanks for sharing the photos. As always, beautifully done. I think I know what I'll be making for lunch this weekend!


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


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

Great photos. I love your book Super Natural Every Day and appreciate you posting this picture. I will definitely be trying this recipe now. I have always wanted to try fennel and have never cooked with it before now. As always, thank you for the great cooking advice and ideas that you post on your blog!


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