Easy Shaved Arugula Fennel Salad with Apple | The First Mess

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Ready within 20 minutes, this arugula fennel salad is a fresh, flavourful, and easy salad to go with your next dinner. It’s made with simple ingredients, like baby arugula, sliced apple, fresh fennel, chopped pistachios, and requires zero cooking! Filled with peppery and bright flavours, loads of fruit and vegetables, naturally vegan (no cheese!), plus a tangy-sweet finishing touch from an apple cider vinegar and lemon dressing, this easy shaved and tossed arugula fennel salad is satisfyingly simple.

An up close 3/4 angle shot shows a wooden salad bowl filled with an arugula fennel salad that features finely sliced apples, a cider lemon vinaigrette, and chopped pistachios.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a shaved arugula fennel salad: apple cider vinegar, pistachios, arugula, maple syrup, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and fresh fennel.
A head-on shot shows a clear jar with salad dressing ingredients inside, prior to mixing.
An overhead, blurry shot shows a hand shaking a jar of salad dressing.

I have recommended a “simple green salad with shaved fennel” countless times as a side for the many vegan dinner recipes posted here. Finally, I’ve got a recipe that I can point you to! The fresh, mild anise flavour of shaved fennel is a delicious match for peppery arugula. Throw in some crisp and sweet sliced apples, and our tangy homemade dressing? The side salad may become the star of the show!

The arugula fennel salad dressing here contains both apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for acidity. I like the tang of the vinegar and the uplifting brightness of the fresh lemon juice together. I also add Dijon mustard to anchor the savoury flavour. It’s all rounded out with a drizzle of maple syrup, good olive oil, and then shaken in a lidded jar.

One of the most important things with this salad is the texture. I recommend using a mandoline slicer to get the arugula and apples super thin. I’ve had my Benriner mandoline for over 10 years, use it often, and it has stayed super sharp. I find it simple to use and appreciate that it doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary extras. The finely shaved fennel and apples get wrapped up in the baby arugula so nicely. You get the perfect bite every time.

Another thing I just want to note: when you’re shaving the fennel super thin, I don’t think that you need to remove the core. It kind of disappears into the salad and the texture of it is just fine! Lastly, I will say that this salad is best when cut and tossed right before serving. The fennel keeps its freshness and the apples don’t turn yellow. You can make the dressing up to a week in advance though!

For more side salad excellence, check out my Pizza Night Salad, my Chopped Apple, Kale & Parsnip Salad, or my Creamy Mustard Slaw.

AN overhead shot shows a worn cutting board with a cored apple, mandoline slicer. a fennel half, and some shaved fennel on the board.
An overhead, up close shot shows shaved fennel, shaved apples, and finely chopped shelled pistachios.
An overhead shot shows the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl with tongs: baby arugula, shaved fennel, shaved apples, finely chopped pistachios, salt, and pepper.
A slight 3/4 angle shot shows salad dressing being poured over baby arugula and finely sliced fruit and vegetables.
An overhead shot shows a shaved arugula fennel salad with apples and finely chopped pistachios. The salad is in a wooden bowl with a linen napkin nearby.

Easy Shaved Arugula Fennel Salad with Apple

This fresh and lemony arugula fennel salad is ready in 20 minutes and is just a great side salad recipe to keep in your back pocket. The tangy, slightly sweet dressing and chopped salty pistachios make it super crave-able.

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