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The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Fennel and Courgette Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing

Yotam Ottolenghi

by Yotam Ottolenghi, The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team, Noor Murad from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love

Raw shaved fennel and strips of courgette are tossed in a zesty preserved lemon dressing in this fresh summer salad from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad


Every so often, the team will put their heads together and brainstorm recipe ideas. Gitai, listening intently while tapping away at his computer, will let out the occasional murmur of agreement, sigh of disapproval or chip in with his suggestions. We often joke that ‘fennel salad’ is Gitai’s signature go-to, his love of raw vegetables so very compelling. This salad is dedicated wholeheartedly to Gitai, who has contributed plenty of inspired ideas to the recipes developed at the OTK.

Serve this on a hot summer’s day, alongside a summery spread and a chilled glass of wine. You can make the dressing well in advance, but don’t mix everything together until just before serving; it releases water as it sits.

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20g mint leaves, roughly chopped
20g dill, roughly chopped
25g chives, roughly cut into 2cm lengths
75ml olive oil
2 large (750g) fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved lengthways and finely shaved on a mandolin or by hand
2 (420g) courgettes, trimmed and finely shaved on a mandolin or by hand
1 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted and roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1½ tsp pink peppercorns, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
salt and black pepper
For the preserved lemon dressing:
40g preserved lemon (1-2 lemons), pips discarded and flesh and skin roughly chopped (35g)
½ (20g) small shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2½ tbsp olive oil

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor.


Make the dressing by putting the preserved lemon, shallot, garlic and lemon juice into the small bowl of a food processor and blitzing until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blitz for 1–2 minutes more, until completely smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

Put all the herbs, 4 tablespoons of oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper into the food processor and pulse to finely chop. Add the fennel, courgette, lemon juice, ⅔ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper to a large bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to soften, then add the herb mixture and toss together well.

Transfer half the salad to a large plate, and spoon over half the dressing and half the fennel seeds and pink peppercorns. Repeat once more, drizzle with the last tablespoon of oil and serve right away.

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From the book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love

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