Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Hazelnuts, and Sherry Vinaigrette
Simple arugula salad with shaved fennel, toasted hazelnuts, parmesan, and a garlic 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!
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!
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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: 256 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 736mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g