Lemony Shaved Fennel Asparagus Salad

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 10 votes

My shaved fennel asparagus salad is bright with a lemony dressing and robustly satisfying with the addition of white beans and farro. Crushed pistachios, arugula, and chives add texture and even more flavour. This main course salad is ready in 30 minutes!

An overhead shot displays a shaved fennel asparagus salad in a wide white bowl. The salad also features white beans, cooked farro, finely chopped pistachios, arugula, and chopped chives. Wooden salad tongs are nearby on a pink linen napkin.
An overhead shot displays a shaved fennel asparagus salad in a wide, grey-ish blue serving bowl with a gold rim. The salad also features white beans, cooked farro, finely chopped pistachios, arugula, and chopped chives.
An overhead shot shows ingredients used in a lemony shaved fennel asparagus salad.
An up close, overhead shot shows a Y peeler making thin "ribbons" out of asparagus spears.

I do a lemony shaved fennel and arugula side salad with dinner every week. As the seasons change, there are variations on that combination, but the core remains. It’s a bit shocking to me that I’ve never shared a recipe inspired by this dinner staple on here. For your Spring entertaining consideration, I present to you: Lemony Shaved Fennel Asparagus Salad!

I make it extra hearty and filling with the addition of cooked farro, white beans, and finely ground pistachios. This is a lovely vegan dinner salad, but it also works as a side for whatever you have going on. The thin wisps of fennel and asparagus are so fresh and delightful with the lemony shallot dressing. The arugula is peppery. Salty pistachio bits coat every bite, and chopped chives bring an extra Spring-y sparkle.

Some tips for making this shaved fennel asparagus salad:

  • I used to remove the core of my fennel before finely shaving for salads. One time, I just left the core intact out of laziness and the salad was still great! Because we slice it so thin, you don’t really notice the texture of the core.
  • Thicker asparagus spears are ideal for shaving down with a vegetable peeler.
  • To make this gluten-free, I’d opt for cooked wild rice in place of the farro because it has similar nutty and chewy characteristics.
  • I used the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s to make the prep go a bit faster.
  • For a nut-free option, I’d grind up roasted and salted pumpkin seeds in place of the pistachios.
  • I grind up my pistachios in a mini food processor. You want the pieces super fine so that you get their salty/toasty flavour in every bite!

This salad is such a feel-good meal or side! The tart lemon, fresh veg, chewy farro, and creamy white beans are just sublime together. A vibrant way to usher in Spring :)

An overhead shot shows prepped ingredients for a shaved fennel asparagus salad with lemony dressing, farro, white beans, pistachios, and chives.
An overhead shot shows all prepped ingredients for a salad in a wooden bowl: baby arugula, shaved asparagus, cooked farro, shaved fennel, chopped chives, and cooked white beans.
An up close, overhead shot displays a shaved fennel asparagus salad in a wide white bowl. The salad also features white beans, cooked farro, finely chopped pistachios, arugula, and chopped chives.

Lemony Shaved Fennel Asparagus Salad with White Beans

My shaved fennel asparagus salad is bright with a lemony dressing and robustly satisfying with the addition of white beans and farro. Crushed pistachios, arugula, and chives add texture and even more flavour. This main course salad is ready in 30 minutes!
5 from 10 votes
An up close, overhead shot displays a shaved fennel asparagus salad in a wide white bowl. The salad also features white beans, cooked farro, finely chopped pistachios, arugula, and chopped chives.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely minced (⅛ cup minced shallot)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 small fennel bulbs (or 1 large)
  • 12 thick asparagus spears
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) baby arugula
  • 1 ½ cups cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed (from one 15oz can)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked farro (from ¾ cup dry grains)
  • ¼ cup chopped chives, plus extra
  • cup shelled and salted pistachios, finely ground/minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh lemon zest, optional

Equipment

Notes

  • I used to remove the core of my fennel before finely shaving for salads. One time, I just left the core intact and the salad was still great! Because it’s shaved so thin, you don’t really notice.
  • Thicker asparagus spears are ideal for shaving down with a vegetable peeler.
  • I used the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s to make the prep go a bit faster.
  • To make this gluten-free, I’d opt for cooked wild rice in place of the farro because it has similar nutty and chewy characteristics.
  • For a nut-free option, I’d grind up roasted and salted pumpkin seeds in place of the pistachios.
  • I grind up my pistachios in a mini food processor. You want the pieces super fine so that you get their salty/toasty flavour in every bite!

Instructions

  • Start the dressing. In a medium bowl, combine the minced shallot, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar. Make sure that the shallots are covered in the liquid. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Using a mandolin, finely slice the fennel. You should end up with about 3 cups of sliced fennel.
  • Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into thin ribbons. You should end up with about 2 cups of shaved asparagus.
  • Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine the shaved fennel, asparagus, arugula, navy beans, farro, chives, half of the pistachios, and some salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Finish the dressing. To the shallots, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar, add salt and pepper, the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad. Using tongs, toss to combine and evenly coat in the dressing right before serving. The white beans and farro inevitably settle to the bottom of the bowl, so I like to dig them out and get some on top of the salad. Garnish with the remaining pistachios and extra chopped chives. Grate lemon zest over the top if you like.
A 3/4 angle shot displays a shaved fennel asparagus salad in a wide, grey-ish blue serving bowl with a gold rim. The salad also features white beans, cooked farro, finely chopped pistachios, arugula, and chopped chives.
05/04/2023
Posted in: bitter, earthy, gluten free option, main course, quick, salad, salty, side dish, sour, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, white beans

4 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Barbara

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner and we loved it! I used cooked buckwheat instead of the farro and it worked really well. Don’t skip on the lemon zest. It really punches up the flavor. I will make it again and my husband and I judged it good enough to serve to company!

  • Lizz

    So tasty ideas for april. I love your recipes!!!

  • TofuAnnie

    I love your recipes but if I want to save them or print them as a hard copy or pdf, no matter what options I click, the image never shows up. I end up grabbing a snip of the image and pasting it into a pdf. Can you help me figure out what’s going on? Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      I don’t think we have the recipe card programmed to include a photo in the printed version. Let me see if we can fix this up as an option in the near future. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
      -L