Fennel has been a staple in Europe for centuries and is an herb that is often used in cooking, but it’s also rich in nutrients so you might consider adding it to your salad, too. In this article, we’ll cover why salads with fennel is great for your health and some amazing recipes to show off the herb’s health benefits!
Fennel: Why should you include it in your salad?
Adding fennel to your salad can have a variety of health benefits. Fennel is a member of the carrot family and has many similar properties. It is high in antioxidants, which can help protect your body against damage from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Fennel is high in fiber, which helps to improve digestion. Fiber also helps to keep your intestines healthy and functioning properly. This can help to reduce the chances of developing bowel problems or other health issues related to poor digestion.
Another benefit of adding fennel to your salad is that it boosts the immune system. Fennel contains compounds that can help to fight off infection and boost the overall strength of your immune system.
Adding fennel to your salad can have a variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk of developing bowel problems or other health issues related to poor digestion, boosting the immune system, and increasing the antioxidant levels in your body.
If you’re looking for a healthy addition to your salad routine, try adding some fennel seeds today!
3 Favourite Types of Fennel Salads
There are many types of fennel salads, each with its own unique health benefits. Here are some of the most common types:
Crispy Fennel Salad with Radish and Blue Cheese Dressing
This salad is made with roasted fennel, crumbled blue cheese, and a vinaigrette dressing. The blue cheese dressing provides some healthy fat and protein, while the fennel gives the salad a nice crunch. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a light salad that still provides some nutritional benefits.
Fennel and Avocado Salad with Pesto Dressing
This salad is made with sliced avocado, diced fennel, and pesto sauce. The pesto dressing provides plenty of healthy antioxidants and vitamins, while the avocado adds healthy fats and nutrients. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a heart-healthy salad that tastes delicious too!
Fennel Grain Salad with Pecan-Blue Cheese Dressing
This grain salad is a great way to start your day or as an appetizer before dinner. It’s full of crunchy vegetables and creamy cheese dressing, and it’s perfect for any season.
The Pecan-Blue Cheese Dressing gives the salad a nice strong, sweet and deep flavour. These recipes are not only healthy, but they’re delicious too!
The 3 Best Fennel Salads recipe
I’ve included my three most favourite fennel salad recipes below.
Crispy Fennel Salad with Radish and Blue Cheese Dressing:
Three slices of sourdough bread
For frying, use olive oil
Fennel bulbs (two small or one large)
Radishes red, 8
Four celery sticks, preferably with leaves on
Wild rocket, four handfuls
Fresh tarragon chopped to 1 tbsp
For the dressing:
Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
Sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon
Crushed garlic clove
You will need 100g blue cheese (we used Sperrin, which is vegetarian).
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a splash of water
How to prepare:
1. Make the dressing by mixing half of the blue cheese (50g), lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and crushed garlic in a large bowl, then whisking in the 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Freshly ground black pepper and a good pinch of sea salt complete the seasoning. Put aside.
2. Make rough 1.5cm chunks of the bread. Toss the bread chunks in olive oil in a skillet for a few minutes until just golden brown and crunchy. Set aside to cool on kitchen paper after seasoning.
3. Keep any herby fronds to garnish the dish and slice the fennel in slices of 1 cm and slice the radishes in thin slices. Slice the celery sticks thinly after removing the leaves (do not discard them).
4. Combine the fennel, celery, radish and rocket with the dressing in a bowl. Toss the salad lightly with the croutons and half the cheese chunks. Spread the remaining cheese over the salad and divide it among large plates or bowls. Sprinkle with tarragon when serving, and drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil if desired.
Fennel and Avocado Salad with Pesto Dressing:
Fresh fennel bulbs, 2 bulbs
Two unblemished, firm avocados
½ cup lemon juice
Red onions, two small ones
Two ripe, red tomatoes, cored
Vinegar made from red wine, 6 tablespoons
Oil from corn, peanuts, or vegetables, 3/4 cups
Depending on your taste, add salt
Pepper freshly ground to your taste
Red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoons
Optional: 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh coriander
For the dressing:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon of Honey
1 pinch of salt
Parmesan cheese or any grated cheese with a strong flavor
1 jar of Premade pesto
How to prepare:
1. Remove and discard the fennel stems. Remove the tough outer skin and discard it. Prepare the fennel by cutting it into quarters. Divide the quarters into thin slices by cutting them crosswise. About 1 1/2 cups should be left. Mix in a bowl.
2. Peel and cut avocados in half, remove the pits. Cut each half into quarters lengthwise. Cut the wedges crosswise into ½-inch pieces. About four cups should be enough. Toss this into the bowl. Toss in lemon juice and blend well.
3. Cut the onions in half lengthwise. Make very thin slices of each half by cutting it crosswise. Make individual pieces out of the slices. To the bowl, add the ingredients.
4. Make half-length cuts in the tomatoes. Make eight crosswise cuts in each half. Incorporate into the bowl.
5. Stir together all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl.
Fennel Grain Salad with Pecan-Blue Cheese Dressing:
Add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons olive oil
Add 1 small red onion, diced
1 large bulb fennel, shredded
1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the dressing:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons crumbled
Blue Cheese (or other favorite blue cheese)
A pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to prepare:
1. Combine the quinoa, parsley, dill, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
2. Set aside 1/2 cup of fennel mixture and set aside remaining mixture.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender, about five minutes.
4. Add the fennel and saute until softened and golden brown , about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the remaining fennel mixture, wine vinegar and honey.
6. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
9. Remove from heat and stir in remaining olive oil, blue cheese, salt and pepper.
10. Transfer quinoa mixture into a chilled bowl or seal in an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to serve or just prior to serving (it will be slightly warm).
To serve: Top with additional Blue Cheese if desired. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
Salads can be a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, but often times they are void of flavor. That’s where fennel comes in! Fennel is a versatile herb that can add an interesting depth of flavor to any salad, making it more palatable and satisfying.
Not only does adding this herb boost the health benefits of your salad, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Give this super food a try the next time you want to up your salad game!