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Fennel and Asparagus Ribbon Slaw

Fennel and asparagus slaw
Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore

Chef notes

Shaved fennel and raw asparagus make a palate-brightening slaw for spring. Use a mandoline to shave the fennel, and watch a hard bulb turn into thin, translucent ribbons.

Kitchen equipment required: Mandoline, sharp knife 


  • 2–3 large fennel bulbs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh asparagus (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/4 cup dill weed, pulled off the stems
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste


Trim the fennel bulbs, peeling down the tough outer layer, and cut the green stalks down to about 2 inches, just enough to hold on to as you slice. Use a mandoline to shave the fennel into paper-thin ribbons. You should have at least 4 cups, loosely packed. Pour the lemon juice over the shaved fennel to keep it from turning brown.

Rinse the asparagus and snap off the tough bottoms of the stalks. You should have about 12 ounces of trimmed asparagus, to yield about 3 cups when sliced. Use your sharpest knife to slice the stalks thinly on a deep slant, and reserve the tips.

Combine all the ingredients in an ample bowl and toss gently. Taste, and adjust the salt or lemon if needed. Scatter the reserved asparagus tips over the top as a pretty garnish, or mix them into the salad.

Recipes and images from Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore by Anna Thomas. Copyright © 2016 by Independent Productions, Inc. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.