A light and simple fennel apple salad that everyone will love! This refreshing winter salad is drizzled with a light vinaigrette dressing that ramps up the flavors of fennel and apple – 10 minutes and a total crowd pleaser!
Fennel apple salad is a must make! It is bold and zesty with sweet yet tart granny smith green apples, sliced fennel bulbs, vibrant purple onion and crunchy walnuts. If you are lucky to find any wild garlic around, the leaves are delicious also chopped and toss in as well.
Fennel and apples remind me to my Italian heritage and make me think of Christmas at my grandparent’s house when I was a kid. During our five course dinners we always had fresh fennel and apples served on a fruit tray right before dessert. Since Italians are concerned about digestion, it is tradition to eat fennel at the end of a meal.
Smart thinking because red pasta sauce can definitely cause indigestion and this fennel apple salad is fabulous to aid in any digestion problems!
Along with our Italian dinners and large fruit trays, we would also have nuts still in their shells such as chestnuts, almonds and walnuts for cracking. In fact, since that was so much fun as a child, last year I bough my kids their own nutcrackers so they can get busy cracking their own nuts. One of our favorite holiday traditions! Then they can get the nuts prepped to add to our fennel salad.
This fennel apple salad is so simple to make and has the most delicious flavors and mouthwatering textures. As mentioned before- us Italians LOVE to eat fennel and apples to assist in digestion. That is only the start to how healthy this dish is!
Health benefits in this fennel apple salad
Lets go through the salad ingredients which have so many amazing health benefits to help your body thrive. Starting with fennel…
An excellent source of fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C is fennel. It is a plant that has a licorice flavor and is made up of a bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds, all which are edible. The bulbs can be sautéed or fresh in salads and the leaves chopped make an excellent garnish.
Fennel helps with preventing cancer, assisting in bone-health, boosting the metabolism, aiding in digestion, helping to regulate menstrual cycles and hormones, and boosting the immunity.
You know what they say- an apple a day keeps the doctor away! I love apples and try to eat one everyday myself. This fennel apple salad is great way to get your apple in a day! Apples are low calorie (yay!) and contain vitamin C, fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and essential minerals for a healthy lifestyle. Granny smith green apples help to control the metabolism, maintain good blood flow in the body, build strong bones and teeth, aids in clearer skin, and may reduce certain cancers.
Walnuts are shaped like a brain, so you guessed it – they help our brain! They are a super plant based food that contains Omega-3 fatty acids that assist with brain health and memory. Walnuts also aid the immunity, are packed with antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure. Walnuts are also a great source of plant-based protein for proper muscle development.
Most store-bought salad dressings are made up of fillers and preservatives that we can all do without. Homemade salad dressing is so simple, and in my opinion even more delicious because you are using fresh ingredients.
Since my husband does not like vinegar in dressing, I use fresh lemon, olive oil or avocado oil, honey (or maple syrup), Dijon mustard, and a touch of salt and pepper. All of these ingredients are anti-inflammatory foods and contain healthy antioxidants that can boost the immune system.
My hubby also is not a fan of sweet foods with savory foods but absolutely loves this salad!
The bonus is this salad is incredibly healthy, crunchy, sweet, savory, light, hearty, and incredibly delicious all wrapped up into one dish!
Serve it as a side salad, main dish, over fresh greens (although we prefer this fennel apple salad just as is!) and I promise it does not disappoint!
If you like this recipe you might also like these other salad and fennel recipes:
- Spinach Pomegranate Salad from Caroline’s Cooking
- Warm Radicchio, Brussels Sprouts and Fennel Salad from Floating Kitchen
- White Bean Tomato Cucumber Salad With Avocado Dressing
- Winter Salad With Kiwi, Persimmon, Walnuts and Cranberry (this would be awesome to add chopped fennel!)
- Roasted Beet Kale Salad With Herb Greek Yogurt Dressing
Fennel Apple Salad
- 2 fennel bulbs stalks removed
- 2 green apples
- ¼ large purple onion cut into ½ slices
- ½ cup walnuts
Start by making the dressing
- In a mason jar add the avocado oil (or olive oil), lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey (or maple syrup) and Dijon mustard. Whisk together to blend and set aside.
Prepare the salad
- Remove the stalks of the fennel then cut the bulb in half. Cut the halves into quarters for smaller pieces in the salad or keep it in halves. Peel off any wilted outer layers then slice the fennel crosswise.
- Prepare the apples by removing the core and slicing into thin slices.
- Prepare the onion by removing the outer layer and slicing into thin slices.
- In a large bowl or plate add the fennel, sliced apples, onion and walnuts. Add desired amount of dressing. Mix and serve on 2-4 plates. Garnish with fresh fennel leaves.