ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Ever Fennel and Watercress Salad

Updated on March 14, 2018
VVanNess profile image

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

Fennel and Watercress Salad
Fennel and Watercress Salad | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of The Best Ever Fennel and Watercress Salad

This may sound like something fruity (as my husband would call it) and inedible, but it really is a great salad. It may even seem like it's going to be really difficult to make, but I promise it's worth it! Many people simply haven't heard of fennel or watercress.

Fennel is a bulbous vegetable with a tall, wispy, fronded top that looks rather like dill. The fronds can be used in salads, but the main attraction of fennel is the bulb itself. It's very firm and crunchy, and it tastes a bit like licorice and anise. It has a fresh, bright taste and it's one of my favorite vegetables for salads and coleslaws. It can also be grilled or braised until tender.

The bulb is made of overlapping layers of vegetable, almost like a cabbage, but very firm and hard. To be used in salads, fennel should be sliced very thin, and it's easiest to do this with a mandoline. (theKitchn)

Watercress on the other hand, is a peppery, delicate, dark green leafy vegetable. This dainty vitamin-packed member of the mustard family, is used in salads, soups and other dishes and has begun to replace the ubiquitous parsley sprig as a garnish on restaurant plates. (CookThink) Watercress has a very spicy natural after-taste that will really give you a good bite if eaten by itself in great amounts. By mixing it with fennel and romaine, some of that spiciness gets toned down just a little.

As this recipe makes 20 servings, I would be very careful to use use only enough of the ingredients that you think your family will eat. I originally bought enough for the whole recipe knowing that I was going to be serving 12 people this last week and didn't use even half of the ingredients I purchased (and we had a lot left over).

I would also be careful with mixing the salad dressing into the salad beforehand. It sounds like a great idea, and boy does it taste good when it's had a chance to marinate for a few minutes, but wet salad leftovers do not keep and you've wasted all of the remaining salad.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves approximately 20 people
Fennel | Source


  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 bunches watercress, (pictured to the right)
  • 1 bulb fennel, (pictured to the right)
  • half a small head romaine lettuce
  • 2 bunches radicchio
  • 1 cup pecan halves
Watercress | Source


  1. First we will combine the ingredients for your salad dressing to set aside for use later.
  2. In a small bowl, add your 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and both vinegars.
  3. Then add in your tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Finally add in the cup of olive oil and mix well. You'll set this bowl aside for the flavors to blend and the cranberries to swell a little.
  5. In the meantime, you will want to chop your watercress into the appropriate size for picking up with your fork. I chopped the leaves, stems and all into approximately 1 1/2 inch sized pieces. Dump them into a really big bowl.
  6. Either using a mandoline (kitchen cutting tool) or a large knife, chop up the foliage into small bite sized pieces and toss them into the bowl with your watercress.
  7. Next, slice your fennel bulb really thinly. It will kind of look like thinly sliced onions when your done. Add these to your salad bowl.
  8. Finally, pull four or five leaves off of your romaine lettuce head and chop these up into bite-sized pieces to add to your watercress and fennel.
  9. Mix all of these really well in your bowl.
  10. You'll now want to chop up your radishes into whatever size or shape you choose. I personally cut round slices out of them and then chopped those into really thin strips perfect for the salad. You don't want anyone getting too big of a bite of one of those. Add those to your salad bowl.
  11. And then, with the last ingredient, chop up your pecans into smaller pieces and also add those to your salad.
  12. It's your choice whether to toss the salad dressing into the salad before serving it. But I would only do that if you know everyone is going to finish it off in one go. Dressing tossed salad does not keep in the refrigerator well for leftovers. Otherwise, simply serve your salad dressing on the side.

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup of salad
Calories 178
Calories from Fat135
% Daily Value *
Fat 15 g23%
Carbohydrates 9 g3%
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 202 mg8%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
The sign of a good meal
The sign of a good meal | Source

For an extra bonus, chop up some red onions and avocado to serve on the side of your salad.

I'm sure you can come up with other fun, delicious options to serve with this salad. As I always do with all of my recipes, I highly recommend taking this recipe and making it your own.

I have found it funny just recently having watched a new TV show we've picked up where one's socioeconomic level supposedly dictated the kinds of salads they ate. The characters in in show said that normal people with smaller incomes ate good old-fashioned iceberg lettuce,, and rich people ate snooty salads like arugula and watercress.

The next scene showed the same woman being served a fennel and watercress salad at her boyfriend's house. This happened right after I had just served it for his family. ha ha That really drew some smiles, because we are by no means rich, but we apparently served a "fancy" salad.

So when you make this for your family, note that you are serving a fancy salad that only rich people eat, and enjoy it!

Quick Poll

Did you enjoy this recipe?

See results

© 2013 Victoria Van Ness


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)