Arugula and Finocchio Salad

L’insalata con Rucola e Finocchio

The fresh, lively, cleansing effect that this salad has on the palate comes from the way the two ingredients act upon each other. The mellow, licorice-like quality of the finocchio picks up briskness from the arugula’s pungency which is even more accentuated if you can obtain the sharp-edged leaves of wild arugula. In the event you are using wild arugula, you might want to use a little less of it. The softness of arugula’s leaves contrasts with finocchio’s crispness, just as the dense green color of the former dapples the bright white flesh of the latter.


  • ½ pound arugula
  • 1 large finocchio
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • Black pepper ground fresh


  1. Trim away the larger stalks of the arugula and soak it in two or three changes of cold water. Drain and shake dry in a salad spinner or in a cloth towel. Put into a salad bowl.
  2. Discard the finocchio’s outer leaves if bruised and discolored. Trim away all protruding top stalks and slice off a thin disk from the root end. Wash under cold running water. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice it crosswise as thin as possible with a sharp, sturdy knife or a mandoline if you have one. Add the sliced finocchio to the salad bowl.
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt, lemon juice (or vinegar), and generous grindings of black pepper, and serve at once.