Simple arugula salad with shaved fennel, toasted hazelnuts, parmesan, and a garlic sherry vinaigrette.

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad with Hazelnuts, Parmesan, and Sherry Vinaigrette

Today’s shaved fennel arugula salad was inspired by my oldest sister! 

Back in September, Connor and I traveled to California to attend a friend’s wedding and took the opportunity to visit my sister, Alessandra, in Oakland for a few days. 

She served this arugula salad one night with dinner. It is one of her favorite salad preparations and a regular staple in their kitchen.

Baby arugula and shaved fennel tossed with a garlic sherry vinaigrette, toasted chopped hazelnuts, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. 

A simple twist on a classic arugula salad that works every day of the week, but is just different and special enough to serve for holiday meals or special occasions. 

I knew that I had to recreate it and share the recipe with you!

If you’re looking for an easy light salad to serve alongside your Thanksgiving meal this is a great option that can be thrown together quickly. If you’re looking for something a bit heartier, this fall harvest salad is another long-time favorite! 

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad Ingredients

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Here’s what you’ll need…

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad Ingredients: 

  • Homemade Garlic Sherry Vinaigrette – a classic vinaigrette made from sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, finely grated garlic, salt, and pepper. I prefer sharper, tangy vinaigrettes and tend to use a 1:1 ratio (vinegar to oil) in this recipe. If you prefer milder vinaigrettes, I recommend increasing the olive oil to taste. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. 
  • Baby Arugula – peppery baby arugula makes up the base of this salad. 
  • Shaved Fennel – provides crunch and a delicate anise flavor. I use a mandolin to slice it thinly, but a sharp chefs knife works too. To re-crisp shaved fennel, place in a bowl of ice water for five minutes. Drain well, pat dry, then use as directed. 
  • Toasted Hazelnuts – chopped toasted hazelnuts offer great texture and a delicate, sweet nutty addition. I use whole raw hazelnuts and toast them in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant. Allow them to cool, then roughly chop. Feel free to use skin-on hazelnuts or blanched hazelnuts. Either work! 
  • Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese – the final touch to this salad is shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese. I keep a block of it in my fridge at all times (can’t live without it) and use a Y-peeler to create delicate shavings. You can also find shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese at Trader Joe’s if you’re looking for a quick shortcut! 

Sherry Vinaigrette Being Poured on Salad

How to Serve This Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad: 

This light salad works year-round for any occasion and goes with just about everything. 

It is also a great salad to serve during the holidays when you’re looking for something a bit more elegant. 

The vinaigrette and separate components can also be prepped and stored ahead (store the shaved fennel in cold water in a spill-proof container in the fridge for up to 5 days) easily too. 

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad with Hazelnuts, Parmesan, and Sherry Vinaigrette

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad with Hazelnuts, Parmesan, and Sherry Vinaigrette

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Hazelnuts, and Sherry Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 4

Simple arugula salad with shaved fennel, toasted hazelnuts, parmesan, and a garlic sherry vinaigrette. An easy arugula salad recipe to enjoy year round. Please note that this vinaigrette recipe produces extra and uses a 1:1 ratio of acid to fat (sherry vinegar to extra virgin olive oil) - if you prefer milder vinaigretes, you can increase the ratio of oil (ie. 1/3 cup sherry vinegar + 1/2 olive oil, etc.) to tone it down. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


Sherry Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated with a microplane
  • 3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad:

  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 1/2 fennel head, core trimmed, and thinly shaved with a mandolin
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, toasted, and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a jar, combine the olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, kosher salt, and freshly grond pepper. This ratio of oil to vinegar produces a sharper vinaigrette, if you prefer milder vinaigrettes, I recommend increasing the extra virgin olive oil to taste. Shake well and set side.
  2. Prepare the Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the baby arugula leaves, shaved fennel, a pinch of kosher salt, and pepper. Add sherry vinaigrette, just to lightly coat, and toss to combine. Add the chopped toasted hazelnuts and shaved parmesan, and toss gently (*you can also reserve these and add them to each individual serving). Serve!


Tips for Success:

  • How to Toast Hazelnuts: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the whole hazelnuts and toast, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool for chopping.
  • To re-crisp fennel for serving, add the shaved fennel to a bowl of ice water. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, drain the fennel well (and pat dry), then use as directed.
  • To create parmesan curls, take a block of parmigiano-cheese and use a Y-peeler to create small ribbons.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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