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Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad

March 17, 2018

By Kath Dedon


About 3 weeks ago I had a great dinner with Laura and Byron while Bob was away on a ski trip. Byron’s beef roast was amazing! He had seasoned the roast and then put it in a sous vide bath. He then refrigerated it before finishing it in the oven. Really, really good!

Laura made a salad that I just loved! It was the Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites. I have the book and made a mental note to make the salad soon.

I was amused that Deb wrote that her family calls it the “Haters’ Salad”. She explained that many people have strong feelings about fennel, celery, and even pears. She made the salad anyway because she loves all of them.

Bob hates fruit in salads. So I was sure that he wouldn’t like it, but I loved it so much I made it anyway. It turns out he liked it! When I was surprised that he liked it so much, he said that his serving had only had one slice of pear. 😉

All of the ingredients in this salad just work very well together. There’s the crunch of the fennel and celery, the tender sweet slices of pear, the tasty toasted hazelnuts and the salty Pecorino Romano. The lemon juice and olive oil dressing is perfect. The salad holds up pretty well, so it can be made a bit ahead of time. I enjoyed leftover salad for breakfast the next day!

I whole-heartedly recommend Deb’s latest cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day. I’m looking forward to trying many more recipes in it. And do give this Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad a try.


Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad


Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe in Smitten Kitchen Every Day)


(print the recipe)

Serves 3 – 4


1 medium (about 1 pound) fennel bulb, thinly sliced, with some fronds saved for garnish

2 large celery stalks

¾ medium pear (red D’Anjou is especially pretty), halved, cored, and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and cooled

½-ounce piece of Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved (That’s what I had and used. You could use Parmesan as Deb did.)


  1. Toss the fennel, celery and pear together in a bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper and toss.
  3. Add the hazelnuts and cheese; toss and serve garnished with the fennel fronds.


Fennel, Pear, Celery, & Hazelnut Salad


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Artak Kalantarian permalink
    March 17, 2018 3:45 pm

    Should be amazing. We will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing

  2. March 19, 2018 3:16 am

    We have “strong feelings about fennel, celery, and even pears”. We love the combination. This is a great salad, full of that sweet anise flavor and lots of crunch. The only change we make, is substituting toasted pumpkin seeds for the hazelnuts. It’s better with hazelnuts, but we have a nut free house (allergies).

  3. March 21, 2018 5:28 am

    Looks delicious to me, Kath. Love all those ingredients. I generally don’t enjoy fruit in my salad, either, but I make some exceptions for a winter salad like this one, as well as oranges and fennel, also a lovely combination of flavors.

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