Fennel Salad

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My Fennel Salad will turn skeptics into fennel ❤️ lovers! There is so much to love about this vegetable: its fresh, sweet, deep aroma, which smells like licorice; its crunchy, crisp texture; and its digestive benefits. When sliced 🔪 thinly and properly seasoned, as in this salad, fresh fennel is positively irresistible. This refreshing salad is made with just a handful of pantry ingredients, plus fresh sweet cherries to bring a little sweetness and balance.

About Fennel

Nothing goes to waste when I cook fennel: the 🌿 leaves, also called fronds, are similar to dill, and I use them as a garnish. The outer shell of the vegetable gets a good scrub and is perfectly edible. The tough, hard, round base of the fennel gets trimmed off and can be used in soup, composted, or given to pets.

Why You’ll Love Fennel Salad

You’ll love this Fennel Salad for its simplicity and you’ll keep coming back to it for its flavor. If you haven’t tried fennel before, you can easily make a version of this 🥗 salad that will slowly acclimate your taste buds to the full-blown version.

I know many people are intimidated by fennel, or just not yet fans. Steve and his Italian family introduced me to fennel. In Italy, fennel is known as finocchio and is a popular vegetable. It adds so much brightness and freshness to a meal, especially alongside oily fish 🐟 or fatty meat.

How to Prepare Fennel Salad

💦 Begin by thoroughly washing and scrubbing the fennel, ensuring it is clean. Then, dry it by patting it gently.

🌿 Trim a small portion from the tough, rounded bottom of the fennel and dispose of it in compost.

🔪 Slice the fennel thinly with a sharp knife. An effective method is to halve the bulb and place it flat-side down on a cutting board before slicing.

🍽️ Arrange the sliced fennel on a plate.

🍋 Sprinkle a bit of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil over the fennel. Then drizzle your preferred balsamic glaze over the salad.

🍒 Optionally, add sweetness to the dish by incorporating pitted cherries or orange slices.

🥬 Enjoy your Fennel Salad!

Nonna’s Tip 🥗

The key to this fennel salad is to make the slices as thin as possible, using a sharp knife and a steady hand or a mandolin. If you’re not ready to eat a salad entirely composed of fennel, I recommend a lettuce salad with thinly sliced fennel as a topping; arugula, chicories, and butter lettuce all complement fennel nicely. Soon you will develop a taste for fennel and be as obsessed with this wonderful vegetable as I am!

Fennel Salad

Variations and Substitutions for Fennel Salad

Feel free to mix and match these variations and substitutions to create your own unique spin on this delicious salad!

  1. Experiment with adding fresh 🌿 herbs like mint, basil, or dill.
  2. Crumble some 🧀 cheese such as feta, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan over the salad.
  3. Add toasted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts for an extra crunch.
  4. Instead of 🍋 lemon juice, try using lime or grapefruit juice for a different citrusy flavor.
  5. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of 🍯 honey for a sweet and spicy flavor combination.
  6. Serve the Fennel Salad over a bed of mixed greens 🥬 or arugula.

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Common Questions

What if I’ve never tried fennel before?

If you are just getting acquainted with fennel I suggest you mix it with salad greens of choice (such as arugula, butter lettuce, or whatever you love) to get used to the taste and add more gradually. 

What goes well with the fennel?

Fruit, such as fresh cherries, blood oranges, tangerines, and oranges, complement fennel extremely well. 

what’s another way i can prepare the fennel?

If you want a milder taste, you can also grill fennel on the BBQ and serve it grilled with salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. 

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the fennel slices and dressing components in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply assemble the salad by arranging the fennel slices on a plate and drizzling with the dressing.

what type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is to taste so please always taste and adjust as you cook.

Fennel Salad

Fennel Salad

My Fennel Salad will turn skeptics into fennel lovers! There is so much to love about this vegetable: its fresh, sweet, deep aroma, which smells like licorice; its crunchy, crisp texture; and its digestive benefits.
No ratings yet
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • ½ large fennel bulb
  • ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • pitted cherries, orange slices, or any fruit you like


  • Scrub and wash the fennel really well. Pat it dry. Cut a little bit off the tough, round bottom end and compost.
  • Cut then fennel into thin slices. It's easiest to slice if you cut the bulb in half and place it flat side down on a cutting board.
  • Arrange the fennel onto a plate, add a sprinkle of salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and a drizzle of your favorite balsamic glaze. Add pitted cherries or orange slices for sweetness and enjoy!



Calories: 79kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 158mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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