The light and refreshing shaved-fennel salad pairs the raw vegetable well with lemon, apple, and Parmesan.

After trying this salad, my dad said, “I thought I didn’t like fennel salads.” This delicious fennel soup is easy to enjoy, regardless of preconceptions. It features shaved raw vegetables with sweet apples, zesty lemons and savoury Parmesan cheese. The delicate fennel fronds add a subtle garnish and make each bite irresistible with a touch of acidity. We (and you) are now open! Welcome to our (and your) new favourite side dish. It can be paired with chicken, fish, and vegetarian mains wonderfully.

Ingredients for fennel salad

Many common flavours go well with fresh fennel’s licorice bite. Fennel and orange are a common Mediterranean pairing, as shown in this Fennel Orange Salad. This shaved salad uses fennel and apples, which is another great pairing because the sweetness of the fruit balances the bitterness of the vegetable. This is what you will need to make this salad.

  • Fresh Fennel Heads, plus Fennel Fronds for Garnish
  • Apple
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

How to cut fennel

This is the most difficult part of the fennel salad. The most difficult part of this fennel salad? Thinly slicing it! If you’re new to this vegetable, it can be not easy. These are the steps for cutting fennel. For more information, check out this video tutorial!

  • Cut off the root ends and stalks. Use a large chef’s knife to cut off the stalks of the fennel. You can save them as you will use the fronds (the wispy part) in your salad. The root end should be cut off.
  • Remove outer layers. Take out any hard outer layers of fennel, and throw them away.
  • Cut in half and then in half-moons. Cut down the middle of the fennel bulb. Place the bulb on its side, and then cut thin slices of half-moon parallel to its root end.

Keep those wispy parts, the fennel leaves fronds, in your safe place! These fronds look like dill and add fresh flavour to the salad.

Tips for fennel salad

The fennel salad recipe is very simple. Combine all ingredients with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This recipe is very easy and produces a wonderful, fresh flavour. These are just a few things you should know about this fennel-based salad.

  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. You can serve it right away or refrigerate it for 24 hours.
  • It can be kept refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Additional flavour enhancers? Try adding a crunchy nut such as chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios. For another flavour, add sliced shallot. You can also substitute oranges for apples and add thinly sliced red onions.


  • 2 heads of fennel (4 to 5 cups sliced), plus fennel fronds
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan (omit for vegans)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Use a large chef’s knife to cut off the stalks of the fennel. Next, remove the root end of the fennel. You can then remove any hard outer layers from the fennel. Cut the middle of the fennel bulb. Place the bulb on its cut side. Then, cut thin half-moon slices parallel with the root end; how To Cut Fennel has more information. If you own a mandolin, you can use it to cut thin slices.
  2. Slice the apple thinly. The fennel and the apple slices should be placed in a large bowl. Add the shaved Parmesan cheese. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the shavings.
  3. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and kosher salt with the fresh ground black pepper. Take the fronds (the wispy bits) and gently tear them with your fingers. You will need enough to make about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Please place them in a bowl.
  4. Gently toss your salad with your hands, making sure not to break any apple slices. You can either eat it immediately or keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator. If you wish, refresh the flavours with some salt and lemon juice or zest.