Recipe: Shaved Fennel and Watercress Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This salad is heart-healthy, promotes vitality and anti-aging and celebrates fresh, lively flavors. 

You may know fennel as those little, licorice-flavored seeds that you use to season sausage or cleanse your palate after a Middle Eastern or Indian meal. What you may not know is that fennel offers a plethora of health benefits, including increased bone and heart health, inflammation control and enhances immunity. Fennel has been traditionally used to promote relief from premenstrual and menopausal symptoms. It is also a natural “carminative,” an herb with an essential aromatic oil that promotes healthy digestion.

With the addition of pomegranate and black walnuts, you have a powerhouse of protein, antioxidants, and brain-boosting fats and vitamins. Feel free to exercise creativity here by adding a sprinkle of hemp seeds or dried cranberries. Zest a little lemon peel over the top and voila!


1 bulb fennel
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch watercress, trimmed and washed
2 heads washed frisee, white inner leaves only
1 cup toasted black walnuts, roughly chopped
3 pomegranates, 1 for garnish and 2 for vinaigrette
1/4 lb Reggiano or Tartufato cheese, thinly shaved
salt & pepper

Using kitchen mandolin or very sharp knife, shave fennel as thinly as possible. Soak fennel in ice water and lemon juice to crisp. Drain shaved fennel. Dry watercress and frisee well and mix together with well-drained fennel. Make vinaigrette. Toss mixed greens with the vinaigrette and add chopped walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and arrange in center of a serving plate. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, chopped walnuts, and shaved cheese. Serve.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Pomegranate juice from 2 pomegranates
3/4 cup water
sugar to taste
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/8 cup champagne vinegar

Clean pomegranates and place seeds in deep bowl or pot. Add water and pulse gently with a hand mixer just enough to break seeds. Over blending will make the juice bitter. Add sugar if needed. Strain juice into a sauce pot and reduce to glaze over low flame. Cool and then mix remaining ingredients together with a whisk until blended.

Serves 6