Low Carb Fennel, Celery & Cucumber Salad. Quick & easy. 4g carbs.
Fennel is a crunchy, refreshing, tasty vegetable. Its aniseed flavour is quite mild, not at all overpowering. Even if you dislike aniseed or liquorice, I’m pretty certain that you would enjoy fennel.
It’s a nutritious vegetable and a plentiful source of Vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fibre and antioxidants.
All about Fennel
Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region and is one of Italy’s favourite winter vegetables. It has a bulb-like base, stalks like celery, and feathery leaves. Like celery, the entire fennel plant is edible and lends itself to a wide variety of cooking applications. In fact, this mildly liquorice-flavored plant is a member of the carrot family, although it isn’t a root vegetable.
On the grocery shelves, you’ll probably find Florence fennel. I believe that in the U.S. it is sometimes labelled as “fresh anise”. For best flavour, always opt for rounded bulbs, and avoid the flatter, elongated ones.
It’s very low-carb (1.8g net carbs per 100g – source: quadram.ac.uk). I don’t understand why no-one in keto world sings its praises.
Maybe it’s to do with it being a winter vegetable, and therefore not available all year round. Or maybe it’s just that people don’t know what to do with it, or how to prepare it.
But it’s really easy. Just slice off the base, and the stalks at the point where they attach to the bulb. Remove the fibrous outer leaves. Wash away any dirt. Cut it in half. Then place the halves cut-side down and slice thinly to eat it raw, or into chunkier slices or sections for cooking.
How to Make Low Carb Fennel, Celery & Cucumber Salad
Stringy bits don’t do it for me. So, before slicing the celery stalks, I peel away the fibrous strands that run along their length. I may be odd, but I find this quite satisfying. A bit like when you peel away sheets of skin after too much sun. I know. Definitely weird. Anyway, it’s a step you can skip.
Slicing veggies isn’t really something to ramble on. Just make your cucumber and celery slices thin.
Cutting fennel very thinly can be awkward. You can use a knife if you’re dexterous, but a mandolin (U.S. option HERE) is infinitely easier. If you opt for the mandolin, don’t cut the fennel in half first. You’ll have more grip if you’re holding a whole bulb.
Give this clean keto, Italian-style salad a go and you may well become a fennelphile like myself.
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Low Carb Fennel, Celery & Cucumber Salad
- 200 g fennel net weight - from 1 large bulb
- 120 g celery net weight after prepping
- 120 g cucumber net weight after prepping
- 25 g extra virgin olive oil (U.S. option HERE)
- 15 g lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (U.S. option HERE)
- chop the fennel fronds.
- take the tender middle stalks or your celery, and weigh them; peel off the fibrous strands, then slice thinly (1/2 cm).
- wash, dry, and top and tail cucumber, weigh it, then cut it across the length and slice it thinly.
- in a medium bowl, mix lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt, then add the sliced veggies and fennel fronds and toss until well coated.
- serve immediately.
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