Arugula, Apple, and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and Three-Cheese Crostadas


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Arugula Apple and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

© Paden Reich

Funnily enough, though this salad is one of my favorites, the recipe came about on one of those serendipitous I’m hungry and going to use up everything left in the fridge type of days. I always have fennel and arugula around, and I had one green apple left, so I threw it in as a last-minute addition. During apple season I love making this salad as either a starter for dinner, or I’ll do it as a full meal when I indulge in the three-cheese crostadas. They’re basically really amazing croutons.


1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk together the shallot, citrus juices, honey, mustard, salt, and white pepper; let stand for 2 minutes. Add the extra- virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until blended. Set aside the dressing.

2. Toss together the arugula, Bibb lettuce, apple, fennel bulb, and walnuts in a large bowl. Set aside the salad.

3. Place the baguette slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and lightly brush the tops with the olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.

4. Stir together the cheeses, lemon zest, and black pepper in a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon of the reserved chopped fennel fronds. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each toasted bread slice, and return them to the oven. Bake until the cheese slightly melts and the bread edges are crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the dressing to the salad, and toss. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates, and serve with 2 crostadas.

Cooking Tip

The vinaigrette can be made up to a week ahead of time, stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It’s a nice dressing to have on hand for any salad.


Feel free to use only arugula or mix up the greens to your liking.


1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups baby arugula
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds chopped and reserved
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
8 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

serving size

4 People

Hands on time

15 Minutes

Total time

20 Minutes


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