Up your salad game with this tasty Fennel Apple Chopped Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese. Full of Mediterranean flavours, this makes a crunchy side salad. Plan to make extra for brown bag lunches!
Colour, crunch, and crispy juicy apples make this Fennel Apple Chopped Salad a favourite dinner salad in our house. It has all the elements of a salad that we love. Best of all, it retains its fresh crunchiness when served for lunch the following day. A win-win!
I like adding a little fennel to salads, as I did in this Fennel Apple Chicken Salad with Pumpkin Spice Pecans. It adds interest and another layer of flavour. Besides, how pretty are those delicate fennel fronds on top?
Does fennel taste like licorice?
No, it doesn’t. While fennel and anise are sometimes mixed up, fennel has a mild mellow flavour that is more like a quirky celery.
Which part of fennel do you use for a salad?
For this chopped salad, you’ll be using the bulb and the fronds.
To cut fennel,
- First slice off the stalks.
- Slice the bulb in half and then in quarters.
- Remove any discoloured or wilted outer layers.
- Slice, shave or dice.
Sometimes I shave fennel using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, but finely diced fennel is a perfect choice for this chopped salad. You can save the stalks to add flavour to soups or stews.
What kind of apple is best for this Chopped Salad?
This salad needs a sweet apple. While tart Granny Smith’s are delicious in salads, especially with a sharp cheddar cheese, there is NO place for a Granny Smith in this Fennel Apple Salad! It needs a sweet, crisp apple, like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji to balance the fennel and onion. I chose a Honeycrisp that had a bright red skin to provide lots of contrast in colour.
How to make this Fennel Apple Chopped Salad
In a colander set over a bowl, sprinkle salt over diced cucumber. Let stand and drain for 15 minutes.
Whisk oil and vinegar together. Add the drained cucumber, fennel, apples, onion and tarragon. Toss and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
Add chopped romaine and toasted walnuts to the bowl, toss and season with sea salt and pepper. Top with crumbled feta and serve. Keep it paleo by substituting goat cheese for the feta.
This salad has very little dressing, and it doesn’t need it. If you’re looking for something a little different for a side salad, try this one for a change!
Crispy Fennel Apple Chopped Salad with Walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups cucumber,, peeled, seeded and diced
- sea salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil,, extra virgin
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup fennel bulb,, halved, cored and cut in 1/4 inch dice
- 2 apples,, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves,, chopped
- 3 cups romaine,, chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts,, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese,, *or goat cheese
- In a colander set over a bowl, sprinkle salt over diced cucumber. Let stand and drain for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar together. Add the drained cucumber, fennel, apples, onion and tarragon. Toss and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add the romaine and toasted walnuts to the bowl, toss and season with sea salt and pepper. Top with crumbled feta or goat cheese and serve.
Looking for more chopped salad inspiration? Try these:
This recipe was adapted from Fennel and Apple Chopped Salad in America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.
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