Fennel & Apple Salad
By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: June 26, 2020
For the perfect crunch, this amazing and favourite salad of ours is just the ticket. Sweet anise flavours meld with tangy apple with a herbaceous hit thrown in for good measure. A textural sensation, this Italian salad is the perfect partner for many other dishes.
Summer is my favourite time of the year to eat! I probably said this about winter in some other recipe but this is my MOOD right now! This Fennel & Apple Salad is up there as one of my favourite things to eat ANY time of the year. It's kind of like a fennel & apple slaw, only there's no mayonnaise in sight, so I prefer to call it a salad (and it's healthier!).
It has the right balance of savoury and sweet and has the most wonderful crunch. If ever two foods worked so well together it is fennel and apple. Fennel with its light aniseed and apple with its tart sweetness together make for a triumph in taste and texture.
Why it works
Fennel & Apple salad is a super simple dish to put together and a perfect part of a healthy array other offerings to accompany meat, fish or as an all-vegetable spread. I particularly love this salad with a thick, juicy pork chop that I've seasoned simply with salt & pepper and charred on the grill (bbq). Pork, apple and fennel - the trifector! It's just as happy alongside a delicious piece of salmon or trout too. So versatile!
Stuff you'll need
There's no cooking required for this salad, so it's a great start, right!? There's a full recipe below, but here's where the flavour starts.
- Fennel - I like to shred mine. It creates a wonderful texture.
- Apples (I like a crisp, tart apple like honey crisp. pink lady or golden delicious).
- Red onion (brings a touch of savoury to the sweet apple)
- Herbs (I'll save some fennel tops and add dill and parsley too). There are more suggestions for herbs below.
- Seasoning - Lemon plays a part in heightening the flavour along with a little salt & pepper.
Couldn't be easier, right?
Step by Step
This salad is ready in a matter of minutes. It's all down to how well you can use a knife, but the more you make it, the quicker you become.
- Thinly slice the fennel, apple and onion. Like I said, the thinner the better -it'll create the best finished texture.
- Chop the herbs - nice and fine so that they spread evenly through the salad.
- Mix and season - with lemon, salt & pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil.
A fan favourite
If ever there was a dish that is my most requested by friends and family it's this! I sometimes try and persuade them to eat my other Italian Fennel & Orange salad, but invariably there's a stand-off until I promise to make the apple version. Some friends like it with fish, especially salmon, others like me, love pork, lamb or chicken. Try one of my western meat marinades from my 18 Marinades from Around the World, like the Greek or the Italian and pair it with this fennel & apple salad.
Pro tips to make your life easier
To get the flavour amped up I use a combo of white wine vinegar, lemon and extra virgin olive oil as the dressing. Another tip is to separately soak both the red onion and apple in a little lemon juice too. It brings out the natural sweetness in both and also stops the apple from oxidising and turning brown. On the subject of apples, be sure to choose a crisp, crunchy apple like pink lady, honey crisp, fuji or golden delicious. These varieties work the best.
As well as oranges, i've made this dish using pear instead of apple which was a good option, just be sure to get crisp pears and not soft, ripe ones. I'll often change up the herbs and have used tarragon, which also has an anise flavour - I've also used oregano, marjoram and basil alongside the parsley. It's pretty versatile. And lastly, I'll sometimes replace red onion with white or spring onion.
Ready to get cooking?
As you can see, there's nothing too this wonderful salad, full of flavour, texture and ready in minutes. It's one of my most made salads at home and definitely one of my most requested. Perfect in spring, summer, fall or winter. Whenever the fennel is fresh, it's perfect for this salad. I hope you agree...
Any Questions? (FAQ)
Have any questions about my Apple & Fennel Salad? Ask me in the comments below.
Yes, absolutely. It has a delicious mild aniseed favour and wonderful crunch, making it perfect for slaws and salads.
It has a mild liquorice, aniseed flavour
I cut off the long stems (if they haven't already been removed), I'll keep some of the fine leaves if it has any. I then remove the outer leaves if they're browned or leave them if not. I then cut the fennel in half, from the top down and then into 1/4 pieces from top to bottom. The hard core is at the root - I cut out at a slight angle to remove the toughest part. For most salads, thin slices are perfect. For this salad, I make thin slices and then cut those slices into thin pieces to give a shedded appearance.
More delicious Italian recipes
This Italian salad is perfect all year round. Discover some of our other delicious Italian recipes.
- Fennel & Orange Salad
- Vitello Tonnato
- Fennel Risotto
- Beetroot Risotto with Taleggio Cheese
- Pampanella Molisana
- Paccheri Pasta with Neapolitan Ragù
- Malloreddus (Gnocchetti Sardi) with Sausage Ragù
- Panzerotti (mini calzone pizza with tuna, olives & red pepper)
- Italian Ricotta Pie (Torta Di Ricotta)
- Campari Cocktail (The Pink Fizz)
Fennel & Apple Salad
Rate this recipePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 fennel bulb (medium to large)(cut into thin matchsticks or shredded)
- 2 apples (crisp type)(peeled, cored and cut into thin matchsticks)
- ⅓ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 tbsp fennel leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp dill (chopped)
- 3 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- Chop the fennel into thin matchsticks or shred into very thin slices. Keep some of the leaves and chop (if the fennel didn't have any leaves - don't worry!)Peel and de core the apples then cut into thin slices. Cut the thin slices into very fine matchsticks then squeeze over half of the lemon and mix well.Very finely slice the red onion and add a little lemon over, mix well.Now combine all the ingredients in a bowl. That's IT!
Accidentally bought Granny Smith’s. Can I still use them or are they too tart?
They should be fine. This salad is pretty forgiving! Thanks,