Shaved Fennel Salad

Alice Waters, Noted Cook, Turns Fennel and Parmesan into This Famed Dish

My focus over decades of cookery is on simple dishes with few ingredients that taste good without tweaking and evolving some elaborate taste profile. This is ground zero for no-nonsense splendor.

This is just fennel, shaved parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper [maybe a squeeze of lemon juice]. Fennel is like licorice flavored celery. It holds up in the fridge for a long time, so it’s a great staple add-in to salads, stews, maybe instead of celery— as you please. I find a steady source at Trader Joe’s.

Slicing Fennel Pole-to-Pole


  • fennel bulb – 1, sliced thinly
  • olive oil – good quality is required
  • parmigiano reggiano – shaved slices
  • salt, pepper
  • lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS: Slice the fennel either through the poles or across the bulb for a different visual

  1. Slice the fennel as thin as you can for the best mouth feel
  2. Spread out artfully on a serving platter
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Drizzle on oil
  5. Squeeze on a little lemon juice
  6. Use a sharp vegetable peeler and create shaved parmesan directly over the fennel
Served with BBQ Ribs, Beach Potato Salad, Baked Beans, and Corn

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