Mushroom and Fennel Salad

Mushroom Fennel Salad

Salads don’t always have a dominant leafy vegetable. Sometimes, it’s a combination of two or three ingredients lightly tossed in good quality olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, fresh black pepper, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Then topped with a salty, firm cheese.

This Mushroom and Fennel Salad is a refreshing lunch served on a slice of bread from a bakery or as a side dish to a main course. With a slightly anise taste, the fennel is a surprise ingredient when paired with rustic mushrooms. Vegetarians could add cannellini (or white kidney) beans, and omnivores could top with prosciutto for a little of protein. However, this salad is best served as a simple dish.

Mushroom Fennel Salad

Mushroom Fennel Salad


  • 10 oz. of white button mushrooms; sliced about 1/4 in. thick
  • 2 thinly sliced baby fennel or 1 thinly slice and lightly chop large fennel; place fronds aside for use as a garnish
  • 1 to 2 Italian/Cubanelle peppers; ribs and seeds discarded; cut into about 1 in. long matchsticks
  • 3 scallions; thinly slice
  • A dash of celery seed
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
  • Crushed red pepper; to taste
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1/4-cup olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove; minced
  • Fresh quality bread from a good baker; sliced horizontally
  • 4 to 6 oz. of Pecorino cheese; shaved slices used as garnish


  1. Lightly toss mushrooms, fennel, peppers, scallions, celery seed, sea salt, fresh black pepper, and crushed red pepper together.
  2. Whisk together the sea salt, fresh pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and garlic to make the vinaigrette.
  3. Lightly toss the vinaigrette with the vegetables from step 1 to make the salad.
  4. Place a slice of bread on each plate. Place a generous spoonful of salad on top of the bread slice. Garnish with fennel fronds, fresh black pepper and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil on top.
  5. Enjoy.