Fennel Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

My mom recently raved about an unrecognizable white vegetable she’d found in her salad. She described it as crunchy with a slight hint of licorice, so my mind immediately went to fennel. Its leaves are considered an herb, while its large white bulb is treated like a vegetable. Quick tip: if you’ve gone gluten-free or paleo and are missing your crunchy croutons, slices of a crisp vegetable like fennel or celery add texture and unique taste to salads.

Fennel Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing | Jaybird

Fennel Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing | Jaybird

If vegetables had cliques, fennel would be an outsider who sat in the corner, perpetually scribbling in a mysterious notebook. Like that quiet, vaguely artistic kid from high school fennel tends to be either unknown or polarizing: you’ve never heard of it, you love it, or you don’t want it anywhere near your plate. I made this arugula salad featuring fennel and blackberries for our Mother’s Day celebration, and thankfully my family discovered a shared love for fennel. Must be genetic.

Fennel Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing | Jaybird

Arugula is my favorite lettuce (food nerd alert: I have a favorite lettuce). I eat a lot of spinach, so arugula’s unique peppery flavor is a refreshing change once it comes in season. I added a handful of juicy blackberries, a sprinkling of roughly chopped fennel bulb, and a few fennel fronds. Arugula is in the same family as mustard, so I thought a faintly sweet mustard-maple dressing would tie this salad together.

Fennel Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing | Jaybird

Arugula & Fennel Salad serves 4

a big bowl of arugula
1/2 cup blackberries
2-inch section of fennel bulb, core removed, roughly chopped
optional: fennel fronds for garnish

Maple Mustard Dressing

1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 tablespoon organic dijon mustard
2 teaspoons organic, Grade B maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with maple mustard dressing and enjoy.

Want more real foods recipes? Check out more paleo recipes on Jaybird!

  • http://www.leanerbythelake.com/ Eileen Mulloy

    We’re getting fennel and arugula in our CSA next week and I’m totally going to make this! A is obsessed with blackberries so he’ll love this! And yes, I’m lurking on our blog at 10:30PM on a Friday. What’s up…

    • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia Jay

      Arugula is my absolute favorite! Lucky girl. I hope you like the salad- and also, I was definitely watching bad TV on Friday night. This blog is a no judgment zone!

  • Sarah | For the Love of Chow

    That dressing!! Those photos! I’m all about this recipe. Putting into the must-try list immediately! I better hurry, fennel is almost done here!!

    • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia Jay

      Thanks Sarah! I hope you love it. I had a lot of fun trying something new with my family, and it was wonderful to have a deck for picture-taking and outdoor meals.

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  • MrsVonH

    I detest mustard but am in LOOOOOVE with this dressing! Kudos to you

    • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

      Woohoo! I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you for commenting to let me know; I love hearing when people make and enjoy the recipes.

  • Lisa Howell

    This was the best salad dressing I have ever eaten, anywhere. It was fantastic! Even my “I only eat ranch dressing” husband loved it! Thank you for such an awesome recipe.

    • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

      Thank you so much! I am really happy to hear that and I hope you guys keep enjoying the dressing. :)

  • Leah Stapleton

    Yummy. Thank you for the delicious dressing recipe. it was a trifle sweet to my palate, so I chucked in a splash of rice vinegar. One of the best dressings ever.

    • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

      Oh yum, rice vinegar sounds like a great addition! So glad you liked it.

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