A fresh perspective on a classic: Shaved Fennel, Cucumber and Celery Salad. Crispy, cool and finished off with lemon juice and Champagne vinegar dressing. So easy, so fresh and so good!
Several years ago I was in a restaurant in Marin County, north of San Francisco on business. My colleague and I went out to dinner to a quaint little Italian place for dinner…for the life of me, I cannot recall the name. One of the stand out dishes was a shaved fennel salad, that had English cucumbers and celery in a very lemony dressing. All three were thinly sliced, or shaved on a mandoline. This is my take of that salad that stayed present in my mind to this day.
The flavor profile of this salad is pronounced by the anise taste of the fennel that stays quite crunchy with the dressing. The same for the celery, herbal and crisp and the cucumber adds the refreshing taste to this salad. It’s all tossed with a subtle, lemon dressing and topped with a little sea salt for the win.
This Shaved Fennel, Cucumber and Celery Salad is easiest to make with a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have a mandoline, you can slice your veggies super thin with a knife. A mandoline just makes it easier and easier to keep the slices consistent.
Tips for making Shaved Fennel, Cucumber and Celery salad ahead of time
Fennel and celery hold up quite well to the vinaigrette, but cucumbers, especially English and Persian, thinly sliced will wilt if not served immediately. To avoid this wilting, dress all the vegetables right before serving.
And speaking of Fennel, it can oxidize, or brown once it’s cut. Preventing the oxidizing of the Fennel is easy, you just need a bowl of cold water, with lemon juice. Place thinly sliced Fennel in the bowl with water/lemon mixture until you are ready to assemble the salad. Drain well when you are ready to assemble the salad.
3 ingredient vinaigrette
The 3 ingredient vinaigrette can be made ahead of time as well and will keep overnight in the fridge; it’s lemon juice, Champagne vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Assembling and serving the Salad
In a shallow bowl, place drained fennel, thinly sliced celery and cucumber and toss with half of the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust as needed. Top with a pinch of sea salt. This salad is perfect with Yogurt Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken or with Simple Herb Roasted Chicken.
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Shaved Fennel, Cucumber and Celery Salad
- 1/2 large English cucumber peeled, thinly sliced by hand or mandoline
- 1 medium Fennel bulb fronds removed, cored and thinly sliced by hand or mandoline
- 1 large Celery stalk, thinly sliced by hand or mandoline
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar can use red or white wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- salt sea
- pepper freshly ground
- Peel and slice the cucumber and set aside. (slice with a knife or mandoline)
- Slice the celery and set aside. (slice with a knife or mandoline)
- For the fennel, after slicing, place in a bowl with water and a very good squeeze of lemon juice. This will prevent it from oxidizing and just strain them when you are ready to assemble the salad.
- Once you are ready to assemble the salad, make the simple dressing.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, Champagne vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl and whisk well until completely combined.
- Place drained Fennel, cucumber, celery and pour half of the dressing. Toss gently. Check to ensure there is sufficient dressing on the salad, add more if you need to.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
- Serve immediately.
All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com