Fennel & Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing


Fennel and Baby Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing
Fennel and Baby Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

Fennel. It’s strange to be so familiar with a plant’s seeds and yet not know how to use the plant itself.

Now when it comes to the plant… well, this was my first time trying it. I saw a small fennel bulb at my local farmer’s market. I asked the vendor how to use it and the sweet lady spent the next five minutes giving me ideas. One of those ideas was to use it in a salad.

Fennel Seeds

I have been eating fennel seeds since I was a little kid. When you leave an Indian restaurant, chances are you’ll see a bowl full of seeds, some of them in bright candy coating. When I was younger, I would tell mom I wanted “Indian mints” after we’d finish a meal. Fennel seeds are used as a breath freshener and to help with digestion. We also use fennel seeds (usually fennel powder) in Indian cooking. We call it sauf (Hindi). I love the stuff.

I sliced the fennel into thin strips and tossed it with some baby kale and chopped avocado. The fennel had a celery-like crunch with a slight hint of licorice. My husband, who isn’t a fan of fennel seeds or licorice, liked the salad. So in my book, fennel salad = a win.

I made a lemon-thyme dressing to go along with the salad and the citrusy flavor went together wonderfully with all the greens.

Fennel and Baby Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

Fennel and Baby Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

Fennel and Baby Kale Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

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Servings 2



  • 1 small fennel bulb sliced into thin strips
  • 4 ounces baby kale
  • 1 avocado chopped


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one large lemon or ¼ cup of juice
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon honey or sweetener of choice to taste


  • Slice fennel into thin strips and gently toss with baby kale leaves and chopped avocado.
  • For dressing, whisk all ingredients together and place in jar (I like to reuse old spice jars for dressing).


  • The dressing will taste even better the next day!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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