This fresh and crunchy apple fennel salad is perfect as a summer side dish for BBQ season. The sweetness of the apples and the subtle licorice flavor from fennel is a perfect accompaniment to cut through any fatty cuts of meat, so be sure to enjoy it with pork chops or lamb cutlets.
Like most salads, it can be made in advance allowing you to save time and spend time outside with your guests. Just add the dressing right before serving.
Sometimes fennel bulbs have fronds on them – don’t throw them away. They are packed with flavor and can look great in the salad. Optional garnishes are parmesan shavings, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
Apple Fennel Salad Recipe
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 apples, cored and chopped matchstick thin
squeeze of lemon juice
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1⁄2 stick celery, thinly sliced at an angle
1 cup arugula
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
parmesan shavings, to garnish (optional)
pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)
Place the matchstick-size apple pieces in a large bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice to avoid discoloration. Slice the fennel bulbs very carefully using a mandolin if you have one (always use the grip guard). If there are any fronds on the fennel, be sure to add them too. Add this as well as the celery to the apples and toss to coat in the lemon juice evenly.
Make the salad dressing
Whisk together the apple cider vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside. (Do not add to the salad until you are ready to serve.)
To serve, add the arugula to the apple fennel mix and add the dressing, tossing well to evenly coat. Tip into a salad bowl and garnish with Parmesan shavings or pomegranate seeds – or both!