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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Shaved Fennel and Parmesan Salad

By Alice Waters
, adapted from:  Epicurious | May 1996

The method of preparing this salad — paper-thin shavings of vegetables, usually raw, tossed together and lightly dressed just before serving — has become a regular theme on the restaurant’s menus. The variations are extensive (peppers, celery, and radishes are often added) and always fresh and satisfying.

Yield: Serves 6


1 lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
3 medium fennel bulbs
Extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
About 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, washed & chopped
Reggiano Parmesan cheese


Cut off the feathery tops of the fennel at the base of their stalks and remove the outer layer of the bulbs. Slice the bulbs very thin with a mandolin.

In separate bowl, squeeze juice of 1 lemon and slowly add olive oil while constantly whisking to make emulsified salad dressing. Add salt and pepper.

Mix fennel & parsley with salad dressing.

When serving, shave large strips of parmesan on top of salad.


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