How to make a salad in 5 ingredients without lettuce


There is a secret I want to share. Fennel helps my recipes carry a spicy taste and gives a sweet-smelling kick to many dishes, including this 5-ingredient lettuce-free salad. We don’t call Salt and Pepper as ingredients in here. 

What does fennel taste like? I think the chefs are right; it does have a bit of licorice flavor-but it’s not off-putting. It’s got mild hints of dill, and I would best call it a connoisseur version of celery. Like all vegetables, fennel is also highly nutritious. One serving will give you a decent dose of potassium and anti-aging vitamin C plus a bit of calcium.

As for my 5-ingredient (plus pepper and salt!) salad, this is one of those “impress the guests” kind of salad recipe because

  1. It looks unusually beautiful.
  2. It’s not another tedious bowl of ugly lettuce leaves. I particularly like how easy it is to prepare! If you can boil water and chop you can make this easy healthy whole foods recipe. Nothing to it. Promise.


  1. Two finely tripped fennel bulbs
  2. 1 thinly sliced Granny Smith apple (cut it lengthwise)
  3. 3 cups of green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2 1/4 inch pieces
  4. Juice from 1.5 lemon
  5. 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  6. Freshly ground black pepper and Sea salt, to taste


  1. Prepare a nice long ice bath that could help cool down things.
  2. Bring a wide pot of salted water to a boil. 
  3. Add green beans and cook for around 4 minutes.
  4.  Add fennel and cook an additional two minutes. 
  5. Drain fennel and green beans and immediately plunge into an ice bath. Let vegetables sit in ice water for five minutes. Drain.
  6. Transfer fennel and green beans to a large serving bowl. Pat the vegetables dry with clean paper towels. 
  7. Add the lengthwise cut apple slices.
  8. Drizzle oil and the lemon juice on top. Keep Tossing to coat. 
  9. Season lightly with pepper and salt to taste. 

Serve at room temperature.

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