Bitter Greens & Fennel Salad

It wasn’t until I married into an Italian family almost fifty years ago, that I learned to appreciate eating a salad at the end of a meal. Although it might seem odd if you haven’t tried it, a salad, especially one made with bitter greens, does aid in digestion and completes your meal. This particular combination of lettuces and fresh fennel has become a family favorite in our house, and I often make it.

You can vary the types of lettuce you use, including arugula, radicchio, curly endive, escarole, or whatever lettuce combination you prefer. Fresh fennel adds a nice crunch to the salad, and its subtle licorice flavor cleans the palate after your meal.

Since the greenish this salad packs a punch of flavor, you need a dressing that doesn’t get lost. I prefer a red wine vinegar dressing with just a little Dijon mustard and a touch of honey. Like any salad, it is best to dress your salad right before serving the keep the greens crisp.

Raw Green Organic Escarole Lettuce Ready to Chop

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Bitter Greens & Fennel Salad

Bitter Greens & Fennel Salad

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A combination of greens and fresh fennel to cleanse the palette after your meal.


  • 1 Small Head of Radicchio
  • 1 Small Bunch of Escarole
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 1 Small Red Onion


  • 4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Cut the head of radicchio in half, remove the core, and then slice thinly, placing in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and dry the escarole, discarding any outer brown leaves, then coarsely chop, and add to the bowl.
  3. Cut the top off the fennel bulb, cut in half and remove the core.
  4. Thinly slice the fennel, then add to the bowl.
  5. Peel, and thinly slice the onion, adding it to the salad.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until blended.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.
  8. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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