This flavorful roasted fennel salad, complemented with a bright citrus dressing, is the perfect way to add some nutritious greens to your holiday meal!
Looking for more warm meals in this sweater weather? Pair this salad with some comforting chicken pot pie soup!
I have found there is sometimes a mixed reception when it comes to raw fennel. Some love it, some not so much. Before it’s cooked fennel can have a more spicy, almost licorice flavor. However, roasted fennel changes so much in flavor, taking on a nutty, almost sweet flavor. Combine that delicious flavor with the mild sweetness of figs and some bright, tangy lemon-tahini dressing, and you will not be disappointed!
Preparing this roasted fennel salad
Like I said above, fennel is sometimes underrated. Despite not being the most popular green in the greenhouse, this veggie is actually very nutrient rich (as well as delicious)!
That being said, if you haven’t used fennel before, they may seem a little intimidating to prepare. This isn’t the case, though! They are super easy to make. First, cut off the fronds of the fennel and bottom of the bulb. If you want, keep the fronds to garnish the salad. Then slice up the fennel bulb from top to bottom in thick 1/2″ slices. Cut your red onion into similar size slices and mix them together with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. You’ll cook this in the oven on a pan for 30-35 minutes, turning the vegetables once so they get a nice crisp on both sides.
When the fennel and onion is in the oven, it’s a great time to get the dressing made and the chop up the other veggies! Pro tip: make the dressing a day or so in advance for the best flavor! The extra time gives the different ingredients time to mingle and blend. All you have to do is throw the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend it until it’s smooth.
Wanna add some protein?
This roasted fennel salad is naturally vegan and gluten-free (and keto!), which I love about it! However, if you are looking for a heartier meal, fry up some chicken, fish filets, or tofu for a more protein rich meal!
For The Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon preserved lemon rind, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
For The Salad
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 large red onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups arugula, washed and patted dry
- 2 cups baby spinach, washed and patted dry
- 3 medium ripe figs, cut half, then sliced
1. Prepare dressing by combining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides with a spatula to ensure the tahini is thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F degrees and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
3. Remove the stems and bottom from the fennel bulb, then cut into ½” thick slices from top to bottom. Place slices in a large bowl and reserve the fronds for garnish, if desired. Set aside.
4. Remove ends and outer skin of red onion. Cut in half from root to stem and then cut each half into ½” thick slices. Place half-round slices into bowl with fennel.
5. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to bowl and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Gently toss until the fennel and red onion is evenly coated.
6. Transfer vegetables to prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer without overcrowding. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and place in pre-heated oven. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turning once. Once vegetables are golden brown, remove from oven and set aside.
7. Place arugula and spinach in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of lemon-tahini dressing and toss to combine. Arrange greens on serving platter and top with roasted
fennel, red onion, and fresh fig slices. Garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.
8. To serve, drizzle additional dressing on top, if desired, and pass the remaining amount for those who prefer more. Enjoy!
For best results, make the Lemon-Tahini Dressing in advance to give the flavors a chance to mingle. If you are short on time, the dressing can also be prepared while the vegetables are roasting.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 295mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g