Fennel Apple Salad with Cider Tahini Dressing – A crunchy flavorful salad with fennel, apple, walnuts and pomegranates dressed with a creamy, sweet and tangy vegan dressing.
Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter know that I had a baby girl in May of this year. It’s a huge blessing and we are so grateful for our sweet little one. I stepped away from the blog for a bit; I wanted to take some time and just enjoy being with her. I’m slowly finding my way back to the kitchen, just in time for the High Holidays.
With a newborn in the house, I am focusing on a low-stress menu with several make-ahead dishes. I’ll be juggling a 4-month old while prepping for our meal, so quick and easy is the name of the game. Of course, I don’t want to sacrifice on flavor. This Fennel Apple Salad with Cider Tahini Dressing checks all the boxes. Easy? Check. Can be made ahead? Check. Scrumptious and holiday-worthy? Check, check, check.
As a bonus, this salad incorporates a few of the symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are traditionally eaten to signify a sweet new year. You can use agave or date honey to keep the dressing vegan. Pomegranates are often eaten as a “new fruit” of the season.
Afraid of fennel because it has a licorice taste? This salad is worth trying, even if you’re not a big fan of licorice. The fennel flavor is pretty mellow, and you can omit the green fronds to make it even mellower. The creamy, tangy tahini dressing helps to mask any overpowering licorice flavor. My friend Sandra tried this salad and declared it was the first time she had enjoyed fennel. She also asked for seconds. I’m guessing you will, too!
Fennel Apple Salad with Tahini Dressing
- 3 fennel bulbs sliced thin
- 2 green apples cored and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons honey (use date honey or agave to make it vegan)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts toasted
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Prepare the fennel and apple slices, making sure to slice each very thin. To slice the fennel, slice the bulb from the stalks.
- Slice the bulb in half, top to bottom.
- Use a smaller knife to cut out the core from each half.
- Place the flat side of each half bulb on the cutting board. Slice downward to make thin strips.
- Remove fennel fronds from the stalks and chop them to make 1/2 cup of fronds. Remove any tough stems.
- For the apples, slice in half and use a melon scoop to remove the core - or you can use an apple corer for this step.
- Slice downward at a slight angle to create thin slices. You can also slice fennel and apple on a mandoline to a width of 2 mm (1/10 inch) if desired.
- In a blender combine apple cider vinegar, tahini, honey and salt. Blend ingredients on low, then increase blending speed to medium. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing.
- Combine sliced fennel, sliced apples, and fennel fronds in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the fennel, apples and fronds and toss gently to combine.
- Garnish salad with toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Taste and add additional salt to taste, if desired. Serve. This salad can be made ahead and tossed with dressing up to 24 hours prior to serving. If making ahead, reserve the pomegranates and walnuts to garnish just before serving.