one fresh fennel bulb
parmesan cheese
light vinegar (white white or apple cider is best, but you can use half the quantity of balsamic in a pinch)
good-quality extra virgin olive oil*
one lime
salt
freshly ground pepper (or white pepper if you have it)

For a twist: Add julienned jicama or fresh sugar snap peas (snapped into bite-sized halves).

  1. If not already removed, cut of the long, leafy fronds at the top of the fennel bulb.
  2. Throughly wash the bulb in warm water, scrubbing off any dirt. If the outer layer is too bruised or brown, remove it and do not use.
  3. Remove each layer of the fennel bulb by cutting along the bottom of the layer to separate it from the stem. When you get to the tightly wrapped inner layers, they may be too difficult to remove. That’s fine, just leave them for now.
  4. Breaking each piece of fennel into thirds that will lie more or less flat on your cutting board, chop the fennel. You want to make long, thin strips, cutting along the grain of the fennel. Each strip should be about an eighth of an inch wide. If the strips are more than two inches long, cut them in half through the middle so they will be bite-sized.
  5. Cut the center of the bulb into slices, and then the slices into strips.
  6. Transfer the chopped fennel to a salad bowl.
  7. Using a vegetable peeler, shred this strips of parmesan into the salad. You want about fifteen to twenty small pieces.
  8. Assemble the dressing in a small bowl or ramekin by combining a teaspoon vinegar, a tablespoon olive oil, and the juice of one lime.
  9. Add a half teaspoon of pepper (just a dash if you are using white pepper) and a teaspoon of salt and mix the dressing again thoroughly.
  10. Pour the dressing over the fennel and toss to coat.