This crisp Fennel Apple Salad is best enjoyed when apples are at their peak in the fall. With crunchy fennel, peppery arugula, and a tangy apple cider vinaigrette, it's a great combination of colors, flavors, and textures.
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Whisk or shake to combine.
In a large bowl, add arugula, fennel, apple, red onion, and thyme. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Arugula: The peppery notes of this leafy green play nicely with the tangy vinaigrette and sweet apple. If you can’t find or don’t love arugula, try spinach or baby kale instead.
Fennel bulbs: To prepare the fennel bulbs, trim the stalks off the top (reserve any frilly fennel fronds for garnish on your salad if desired). Then, trim off the thick root end of the bulb. Remove any tough out layer, then slice the bulbs as thinly as possible (a mandolin is helpful for paper-thin slices).
Apples: Honeycrisp apples are my go-to for this salad, but feel free to tailor your choice to your flavor preference. For sweeter results, you could also consider Fuji, Golden or Red Delicious, or Cortland. For more tartness, try Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, or Pink Lady.
Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups salad, enough for 4 servings, 2 cups each.
Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.