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.
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.
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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.
Servings 4 -6
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb (750 grams)
- 5 oz (142 grams) baby arugula
- 1 medium apple
- ¼ cup shelled and salted pistachios, chopped fine
- Apples are available year-round where I live, but other seasonal fruits are nice! Peaches in the summer, pears in the fall, and even strawberries in the late spring months!
- I use finely chopped salted pistachios for flavour and crunch. If you have a batch of my vegan parmesan on hand, it’s an excellent substitute.
- This salad is so simple in terms of ingredients. For this reason, I recommend using an olive oil that you really love the taste of on its own.
- I used an Ambrosia apple here. Honey Crisp is also great!
- In a thinly shaved fennel salad like this, I usually just leave the core in the fennel intact. I don’t find it to be overly chewy, and it blends in with the other fennel slices.
In a glass jar with a lid, combine the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil. Close the lid on top and give it a shake to combine. Set aside.
Remove the tops of the fennel, reserving some for garnish. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, carefully shave the fennel into thin but still substantial slices. Transfer shaved fennel to a large bowl.
Add the arugula to the large bowl.
Remove the core from the apple and slice it thinly, either with a knife or on the mandoline. Add to the large bowl. Season everything in the bowl with salt and pepper.
Toss the fennel, arugula, and apple with all of the dressing and about half of the chopped pistachios. Once everything is sufficiently coated and tossed. Garnish the top with the remaining pistachios and serve!
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