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Shaved Cucumber Fennel Salad

Cucumber fennel salad is crunchy and refreshing. This light salad has fresh herbs, shaved fennel and cucumber, fresh lemon, and a simple champagne vinaigrette.

Looking for more healthy recipes? Try my bell pepper cucumber saladbroccoli salad without bacon or mayo, or Italian artichoke salad.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Quick & Easy – This easy side dish or simple salad comes together in about 10 minutes from start to finish.
  • Customizable – This summer salad can be easily customized by switching out the herbs or vinegar for a different flavor profile.
  • Refreshing – Made with fresh, simple ingredients for the best flavor.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this fennel cucumber salad:

  • Persian or English cucumbers – I love the extra crunchiness of Persian cucumbers so that’s what I used. These varieties are ideal because they have fewer seeds, thinner skin, and no bitterness compared to slicing cucumbers.
  • Fresh fennel – has an anise/licorice flavor and crisp texture that pairs nicely with the cucumber.
  • Fresh dill – adds more flavor to the salad.
  • Lemon zest – adds a delicious fresh lemon flavor.
  • Dressing – extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, fresh lemon juice, honey, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.

How to Make Cucumber Fennel Salad: Step By Step

Here are some quick visual instructions. The full instructions and ingredient list will be in the printable recipe card below!

1. Remove the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb. Use a mandoline slicer to slice the fennel and cucumber into thin slices. Add the paper-thin slices to a large bowl along with the chopped fresh dill and lemon zest.

2. Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Alternatively, you can do this in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Toss with the fennel-cucumber mixture and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with more lemon zest if desired.

Helpful Tips

  • If you don’t have any fresh dill, you can also use the fennel fronds coming off of the fennel stalks for a similar texture and color.
  • Although all parts of the fennel plant are edible, the stalks are a little too tough and fibrous for most people to enjoy. Keep that in mind if adding them to the salad.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, use a cheese slicer, vegetable peeler, or sharp knife, to cut the vegetables into very thin slices.

Storage

Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 1-2 days, otherwise, it loses its crunchy texture.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this cucumber and fennel salad recipe using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • No champagne vinegar? – sub white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar in its place.
  • No fresh dill? – use fresh mint or fresh basil for different flavor profiles.
  • No honey? – use maple syrup.
  • Add-ins – thinly sliced apple, toasted sesame seeds, pine nuts, slivered almonds, or pumpkin seeds.

How To Serve

Take this light salad to backyard barbecues, cookouts, and gatherings, or serve as a side salad with any summer meal.

It pairs well with proteins such as honey garlic lemon pepper chicken thighs or BBQ salmon bites, as a side dish for bowls or gluten free General Tso’s chicken, or served on top of tacos as a slaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat fennel raw?

Yes, you can eat raw fennel. It has a crunchy texture similar to celery.

What does fennel taste like?

Fennel has a refreshing taste of anise or licorice that’s stronger when eaten raw. The neutral flavor of the cucumber paired with the fresh dill and vinaigrette helps balance out the flavor of the fennel and cucumber salad. Cooked fennel has a sweeter, less pronounced licorice flavor.

More Side Salads

I hope you love this Cucumber Fennel Salad! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment & a star rating so I know how you liked it!

Shaved Cucumber Fennel Salad

Cucumber fennel salad is crunchy and refreshing. This light salad has fresh herbs, shaved fennel and cucumber, fresh lemon, and a simple champagne vinaigrette.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium- large fennel bulb stalks and fronds removed, cut into thin slices
  • ¼ cup fresh dill roughly chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • diamond crystal kosher salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Remove the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb. Use a mandoline slicer to slice the fennel and cucumber into thin slices. Add the paper-thin slices to a large bowl along with the chopped fresh dill and lemon zest.
  • Add the olive oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and honey to a small bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk to combine. Toss with the fennel-cucumber mixture and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with more lemon zest if desired.

Notes

See the blog post for helpful tips, storage, and FAQs.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No champagne vinegar? – sub white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar in its place.
No fresh dill? – use fresh mint or fresh basil for different flavor profiles.
No honey? – use maple syrup.
Add-ins – thinly sliced apple, toasted sesame seeds, pine nuts, slivered almonds, or pumpkin seeds.

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