Spinach Salad with Fennel Seed Dressing

Life At The Table Spinach Salad with a Fennel Seed Dressing. A spinach salad with red onion, parmesan, chickpeas, asparagus, and dill in a white bowl sitting on a wooden table.

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This salad and salad dressing scream spring (no matter what time of year it is!). Don’t ever believe that salads are boring. The fennel salad dressing is almost addicting.


Units Scale


  • 12 asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed
  • 4 cups packed spinach leaves, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained well
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup red onion, julienne sliced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt

Fennel Salad Dressing



  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Toss or stir the seeds to ensure the seeds toast evenly and don’t burn. Once toasted remove them from the heat and let them cool.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic paste, honey, and pinch of salt.
  3. Whisk the olive oil into the vinegar in a steam stream until combined.
  4. Stir in the fennel seeds.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with kosher salt.

Pan-Steam the Asparagus

  1. Lay the asparagus spears in a skillet in a single layer.
  2. Add just enough water to the pan for it to boil and create steam for 2-3 minutes. Don’t cover the vegetables with water; there should be some dry spots in the skillet.
  3. Turn the skillet on and steam the asparagus for 2-3 minutes, just until tender.
  4. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Assemble the Salad

  1. Toss the spinach with 3-4  tablespoons of the fennel salad dressing.
  2. For each salad, add 1 cup of the dressed spinach to a plate. Top each salad with 2 tablespoons chickpeas, 2 tablespoons parmesan, and divide the red onion equally between each salad.
  3. Layer 3 spears of the pan-steamed asparagus on top of the salad and garnish with the dill and red pepper flakes.


This is the perfect size for a side salad. Increase the portions to serve this salad as an entrèe.

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