Fennel, Arugula and Green Apple Salad

I recently bought one of those Kyocera plastic mandolines—the cheap alternative to large French models—and it's changed everything. Never mind that a cell phone company makes it; this thing works. And it makes me look like a fast, skilled cook, especially with winter salad recipes like this one. Making the dressing, which involves dumping everything into a jar and shaking like mad, is the labor-intensive part. Otherwise, I just lazily slide my vegetables over the mandoline's ceramic blade, resulting in beautiful, paper-thin, uniform slices. I toss, serve, and accept the compliments.

Especially for raw fennel, thin slices are a must; otherwise it's too tough and woody. It can certainly be done with a good sharp knife—it's just going to take longer. This recipe comes from Dave Lieberman's Dave's Dinners, and pairs the fennel with crisp apple and peppery arugula, covering the lot with a citrusy dressing and toasted walnuts. It's extremely light and refreshing, if a little insubstantial. Some crumbled ricotta salata cheese, or even feta, would bulk it up and upgrade it to full-meal status.

About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.

Fennel, Arugula and Green Apple Salad

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: In Season: Fennel


  • For the salad
  • 1 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • small bulb fennel with top
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 5 oz. baby arugula (or regular arugula, sliced into wide ribbons)
  • For the dressing
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (omit if the orange is especially sweet—add last if it needs it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. 1

    In a 350ºF oven or small skillet, toast the walnuts until fragrant and warmed through, 5-7 minutes.

  2. 2

    Combine the dressing ingredients except the sugar in a small jar and shake vigorously until emulsified. Taste, and add the sugar if necessary (it depends on how sweet the orange is).

  3. 3

    Slice off the fennel stem tops and root, then halve. Halve and core the apple. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice both as thinly as possible. If not using immediately, keep the slices in a bowl of water to avoid browning.

  4. 4

    Toss the fennel and apple slices with the arugula in a large bowl with the dressing. Top with the walnuts and some chopped fennel fronds.


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