Shaved fennel, zucchini ribbons and exotic Middle Eastern Dukkah make for an easy salad with every bite bursting with flavours that refresh!
This exotic salad is deceptively simple to prepare, shave the fennel, slice the zucchini, chop the fennel fronds, add the Dukkah, lemon and olive oil and voila an exotic trip for your taste buds.
What does shaved fennel taste like
Fennel is thought to have originated in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean regions and has a distinct aniseed/liquorice flavour. It has two parts, the crunchy, bulbous, pale green root and the feathery fronds attached to slim celery-like stalks.
Look for fennel bulbs that are firm with no bruising or marks with fronds that are bright and perky and still attached. The smaller the bulbs the tastier, crisper and moister they are.
Store in the vegetable crisper section in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to make this shaved fennel salad
Cut the fennel stalks close to where they connect to the bulb (if you are going to be slicing using a mandoline leave the stalks on as an additional safety guard).
Cut off the bottom of the fennel bulb, then peel off any wilted or damaged outer layers.
Cut in half and remove the core, then slice very finely using your mandoline slicer, a vegetable /y-peeler or even a sharp knife.
Submerge your fennel in water and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your salad.
Gather your fennel fronds and finely chop them. If the fronds are sparse on your fennel use some dill instead.
2Make zucchini ribbons
Wash your zucchinis remove the tops and bottoms, then using either a vegetable or Y-peeler slice from one end of the zucchini to the other.
Turn your zucchini over and lie it flat, now it will sit still while you are peeling it. Continue peeling until you have come to the end of your cucumber. Cut the thick end into long thin strips.
3Assemble the salad
Place your shaved fennel, zucchini ribbons, Dukkah, lemon juice and oil in a large mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper then toss gently until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl, sprinkle some more Dukkah on top to garnish then chill until you are ready to serve.
Tips for making this salad
- To shave your fennel, use the thinnest setting on your mandoline / v-slicer or even a vegetable or y-peeler. If it is sliced too thickly it can be fibrous and tough to eat.
- Keep your fennel submerged in water until you are ready to assemble this salad to prevent it from discolouring If you keep it in the fridge it has the added advantage of making your fennel extra crisp.
- You can make this salad several hours ahead which allows the flavours to meld and develop, what you lose in crunchy crispness you will add in taste.
- You can now find Dukkah in most supermarkets nowadays either in the Spice Section or International Food section (I have seen it in both).
- When buying your Dukkah make sure there is no evidence of moisture and smell it before buying to make sure that it smells fresh and aromatic. It contains sesame seeds which have a high oil content and are prone to rancidity.
Pair this salad with Pomegranate Chicken or Roast Za’atar Lamb for an impressive Middle Eastern dinner party feast. Great with barbecued or roasted meats, seafood or even try it with crispy fried crab.
It is another salad that is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, keto and paleo dieters.
Try some more of our fennel salad recipes…
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- Mandoline or V-Slicer
- Y-peeler or vegetable peeler
- 3 medium zucchini (courgette) (approximately 420 grams)
- 2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds (approximately 550 gams)
- ¼ cup chopped fennel fronds or dill
- ⅓ cup Dukkah1
- ¼ cup Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 3-4 tbsps lemon juice
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Wash and trim your fennel and shave thinly using either a mandoline/v-slicer, vegetable Y-peeler or a sharp knife. Place in water to stop from browning.
- Wash and trim your zucchini and cut into ribbons using a vegetable or y-peeler.
- Chop the fennel fronds or chop the dill.
- Add all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl, season and toss until everything is well coated.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter with some extra Dukkah for a garnish and chill until you are ready to serve.
- Available from the International food section in your supermarket or a Middle Eastern Speciality store.