If I said fennel salad, what would you say?

Fennel and walnut salad2 Servings

Believe it or not my refrigerator is empty most of the time. The reason is twofold.

Firstly, my conversion to a culinary life is relatively recent. Five years ago, I could not care less about cooking, so my trips to the grocery stores were a matter of mere survival. Nowadays, my life in the kitchen is quite different than the way it used to be, but I’m still not capable to buy food for more than two days in a row. The result? Oftentimes I can hear the echo of my own voice inside the refrigerator… πŸ˜‰

Secondly, I do not like to cook for myself. I do love to cook for other people, though. Stefano travels a lot because of his job and when he is away from home, unless I’m hosting or trying out new recipes, a huge strike sign is on and I live on very basic and, most of the time, uncooked food.

This fennel salad is the perfect example of what I eat when I’m all by myself. It’s light, low on calories and, most importantly, it takes five minutes to make and leaves the kitchen spotless, which is a nice plus for me.

After all, are you always in the mood of spending hours in the kitchen and cleaning up afterwards? If you are, hat’s off to you but I’m just a mere mortal πŸ˜‰


1 big fennel
3 Tbsp, balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
A handful of walnuts
Ground black pepper


Rinse the bulb of the fennel with water, dry it and, on a chopping board, cut the stalks and fronds off the bulb. Discard the outer layer. Cut the bulb in half from top to bottom, slice the flat side of
each half thinly and evenly with a mandolin and place the slices on the salad plates.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and keep whisking for one minute.

Spread the walnuts on the fennel slices and pour the dressing on the salad, spreading it out evenly.

Ta-dah: les jeux sont faits! πŸ˜‰

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0 thoughts on “If I said fennel salad, what would you say?

  1. Fig & Quince

    I mean … why didn’t I think of this? What a simple and perfect gathering of ingredients! Bravo. Love fennel, love walnuts, and pretty much live on salad – safe to say think this will be on frequent rotations chez moi.

  2. Tracy Lee Karner

    That’s similar to what I do, too, when I’m alone. Tonight I went with a simple bowl of fresh mesclun greens from the farmer’s market–just like your recipe, except with greens instead of fennel. (My husband calls it lawn-mower clippings, but I love it!) I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me to sprinkle balsamic on my fennel salad. I’ve been using lemon juice, salt & pepper & the tiniest pinch of sugar, drizzled with EVOO. Next time I’m going to try it your way. Thanks for the idea.

  3. laurasmess

    You and Stefano make such a great pair. I love his wine suggestions and photos… and your recipes are always gorgeous. I love the simplicity of this salad. I’d definitely say (in consistency with the theme!) “Yes please!”, but I’d need a big hunk of meat or potato next to it (I eat quite a bit, for someone who resembles a plank. I think this would make me immediately happy but I’d be hungry again an hour later). As for cooking? Ah, there’s nothing I like better than an afternoon cooking by myself. But I’m equally happy, when tired, to eat a large bowl of something really simple like a tuna salad. Preferably with a glass of wine πŸ˜‰ x

    1. Francesca Post author

      Laura, sorry it took me so long. Thank you so much for your lovely words. Good for you! It means that you really pay attention about what you eat and I’m sure it shows. πŸ™‚

  4. kbvollmarblog

    Dear Flora,
    my fridge is always empty – well, except when Dina is here. Thanks for the recipe and GREAT I have got so much fennel in my garden. I like the arrangement of the picture, very stylish, isn`t it?!
    I wish you and Stefano a happy weekend
    Klausbernd πŸ™‚

  5. Maria Dernikos

    I laughed at your ‘strike’ sign. I too can’t be bothered to cook for one or to be more precise I don’t like doing the washing up for just one. This looks and sounds a wonderful recipe. Your plate is really beautiful.

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, John. Hope you had a wonderful time with your zia and that you found her in great shape and mood. My zia is visiting us right now from Italy and we are having a lot of fun.

  6. Just Add Attitude

    Francesca, I would say yes. Although I love to cook I also like food that is easy to prepare, baked eggs with a green salad would be my go to simple meal. I actually think an empty fridge and shopping more often are good ideas, as there is much less waste that way and much like it’s easier to spot an outfit in an uncrowded wardrobe (closet) so too it’s easier to find a delicious simple meal in an uncluttered fridge. BTY I love the shoes and the bag. And some time soon I must get around to decluttering my wardrobe! πŸ˜‰

    1. Francesca Post author

      I agree! Nothing get wasted. However, this means several trips to the grocery store which is a kind of pain in the neck. I still prefer to go shoe shopping! πŸ˜‰

  7. apuginthekitchen

    I would say yes, I would love some of that salad. I’m with you, I rarely cook for myself but I love cooking for others. The only cooking I do is for the blog or when I have guests. When it’s just me it’s either uncooked fare or something quick and no fuss. I agree the shoes and purse are beautiful as is that salad.

  8. Tonette Joyce

    This is truly lovely,Francesca! Simply elegant.
    With all the cooking I do,I am NEVER in the mood to clean up! I learned at my mother’s elbow and was basically her scullery maid.WHEN I get comfortable money-wise, my first splurge is on a maid.
    (Two-days of food? Yes, you need my current series on emergency preparedness!)

    1. Francesca Post author

      It is and it takes no time to make. Perfect, in my opinion, for someone who just had a baby. I remember …back then I was exhausted every evening. Hope everything is well.