Fennel Caesar Salad

Posted on: February 22, 2023. Updated on: January 19, 2024.

by Carolina Gelen

A crips, refreshing take on a classic Caesar salad: fennel Caesar salad. Instead of the traditional Romaine lettuce, this salad using freshly shaved, crisp fennel as its base. Fresh fennel has pleasant peppery notes and a mild anise flavor, which make it the perfect pairing for a creamy Caesar salad dressing. To balance out the savory feel of this salad, the dressing using honey to sweeten things up. If you can’t use honey, sugar or agave nectar will do the job. If you’re not an anchovy-person, no problem: use a dash of soy sauce or a dollop of white miso paste as a substitute, they will both add the perfect salty, umami kick anchovies do.

  1. Add the egg yolk, anchovies, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, garlic, honey, vinegar or lemon, cayenne and black pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix using a wooden spoon, crushing the anchovies with the back of the whisk. Slowly stream in the olive oil, while constantly mixing to emulsify. Taste and add with more acidity or honey as needed.
  2. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then trim the root. Thinly slice the fennel using a mandolin, grater or sharp knife. Add water and ice to a medium bowl, add a big pinch of salt, then add in the fennel. This will get it extra crisp.
  3. Heat the oven to 400°F or 205°C. Add the torn bread to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes until crunchy and golden brown. Keep an eye on the oven, the croutons can burn very easily. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Add the pecans, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt to a small frying pan. Toast until fragrant, for about 2 minutes.
  5. Drain the fennel. Add the fennel, croutons, pecans and fennel seeds to the dressing. Toss to coat. Serve right away with freshly grated Parmesan cheese all over.

Fennel Caesar Salad

4.1 / 5. from 48

Click to vote

4.1 / 5. from 48

Click to vote

Servings: 4
Prep: 10min
Cook: 5min
Total: 15min

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3 to 5 anchovy fillets, to taste (substitute with a splash of soy sauce or white miso paste)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Salad

  • 2 to 3 medium fennel bulbs
  • A handful pecans or walnuts
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 to 3 slices sourdough bread, pita, or any stale bread, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Add the egg yolk, anchovies, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, garlic, honey, vinegar or lemon, cayenne and black pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix using a wooden spoon, crushing the anchovies with the back of the whisk. Slowly stream in the olive oil, while constantly mixing to emulsify. Taste and add with more acidity or honey as needed.
  2. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then trim the root. Thinly slice the fennel using a mandolin, grater or sharp knife. Add water and ice to a medium bowl, add a big pinch of salt, then add in the fennel. This will get it extra crisp.
  3. Heat the oven to 400°F or 205°C. Add the torn bread to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes until crunchy and golden brown. Keep an eye on the oven, the croutons can burn very easily. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Add the pecans, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt to a small frying pan. Toast until fragrant, for about 2 minutes.
  5. Drain the fennel. Add the fennel, croutons, pecans and fennel seeds to the dressing. Toss to coat. Serve right away with freshly grated Parmesan cheese all over.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on "Fennel Caesar Salad"

  1. Kailah Puentes says:

    Fennel salad Incredible! I’ve never really used fennel before but with this dressing the combination is amazing! My top salad.

  2. afox says:

    Great idea! In gonna try immediately

  3. e says:

    Obsessed with the salad since it has so much texture and flavor. I made it for dinner and it was so good that I had the rest for b-fast the next morning 😄

  4. Katherine Detzel says:

    Made this last night for my family along with the creamy shallot gnoccchi and everyone asked me for the recipes, so I proudly shared your page with them! I’ve followed you for over a year now and I tend to make one of your creations once a week and it is always a hit! You are amazing

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Katherine,
      That makes me so happy! I am so grateful to have you here!
      Best,
      Carolina