Looking for an exotic salad that is simple, quick, and easy to make? This Lemon Fennel Salad, also called Limão e Salada de Funcho, is the perfect recipe for you! This traditional Angolan side dish combines only six ingredients, but it is very flavorful. The combination of lemon and Parmesan cheese is pleasant and goes well with many main meals. Lemon Fennel Salad is a great option for fish lovers, but it can also be enjoyed by itself as a light lunch or dinner.
Angolan cuisine is a culmination of several cultures. According to history records, the Angolan food culture was strongly influenced by the Portuguese colonization that started in the 16th century. This recipe is a perfect example as it combines fennel and Parmesan cheese — ingredients used widely in Italian cuisine. The Lemon Fennel Salad is often served as a side dish to main meals such as fish dishes like grilled prawns or a barbecued fish, but can also be enjoyed by itself as a light lunch or dinner option.
Fennel: The main ingredient is the fennel bulb. Fennel has a licorice-like flavor and an aniseed aroma.
Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese is a hard, dry Italian cheese that has a nutty taste and a slightly sweet flavor.
Lemon: Lemon juice is used to give this salad its zingy taste. Lemons are also high in Vitamin C, which makes them a great choice for boosting your immune system.
Dill: Dill is an herb with a sweet and spicy flavor. It is often used in salads and vegetable dishes.
Olive oil: Limão e Salada de Funcho is made using olive oil in which the fennel is tossed before drizzling with lemon juice. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Salt: Lemon Fennel Salad uses salt as a flavoring agent. You can also add some pepper to give it a bit of heat.
There are a number of ways to get creative with this salad and make it your own. Here are some suggestions:
Grapefruit: Add some grapefruit, orange or lime juice instead of lemon to give it a different flavor.
Pomegranate: Toss in some pomegranate seeds for extra color and texture! If you don’t have any on hand, try using chopped apples or strawberries as well.
Citrus zest: Lemon Fennel Salad can be made with any type of citrus zest, but Lemon is my favorite because it gives the salad a nice acidity while still being light enough that you don’t feel like you’re eating something heavy. You can also use orange or lime zest if desired.
Mint: Use some fresh peppermint leaves for an extra kick!
Nuts: Lemon Fennel Salad is great with nuts like walnuts, almonds or pecans. You can also add them toasted for some crunchiness in the salad.
Olives or capers: If you’re looking to add some more flavor, try adding olives or capers. They’ll give the salad a nice salty flavor.
Vegan: Lemon Fennel Salad is a delicious vegetarian option! Just replace the Parmesan cheese with vegan cheese or omit it altogether.
If you have any leftover Lemon Fennel Salad, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. However, I doubt there will be any leftovers!
There are various health benefits to the Limão e Salada de Funcho. It’s low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and protein which makes this salad perfect for anyone looking to lose weight or maintain it.
Lemon fennel is also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants so if you’re trying to boost your immune system then I would highly recommend giving Lemon Fennel Salad a try!
This recipe also contains omega-three fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in the body.
What to serve it with
Typically, this light salad is served with fish. The most popular fish in Angola is the Catfish. The Catfish has a delicate flavor and is a great choice for someone looking to try something new. You can however combine it with any other fish, and it will be delicious.
It is also great as a light lunch or dinner option by itself. Lemon Fennel Salad can even be served before the main course to start your meal off right!
Can you eat fennel raw in salads?
Yes, Lemon Fennel Salad can be enjoyed both raw and cooked depending on your preference. Some people like it best when eaten raw while others enjoy the flavor more after cooking with heat for a few minutes.
What goes well with fennel?
Fennel is a versatile vegetable that pairs well with many different flavors. Lemon and Parmesan cheese are a great combination, but you can also experiment with other herbs and dressings to find what you like best.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes, Lemon Fennel Salad can be made ahead of time. You can either prepare the salad completely and store it in the fridge, or just make the dressing and let everyone assemble their own salads when ready to eat.
Is this a vegan dish?
No, Lemon Fennel Salad is not a vegan dish. It contains Parmesan cheese which is not a vegan ingredient. However, you can substitute it with a vegan cheese if desired.
Lemon Fennel Salad – Limão e Salada de Funcho
- 2 tablepoons Olive oil
- 2 Lemons juiced
- Salt to taste
- 2 Medium fennel bulbs shredded
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan cheese + more as desired
- 2 teaspoons Dill freshly chopped
- Wash and trim the fennel. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise, then slice into thin slices.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, and fennel. Mix well.
- Place the salad on a plate with some dill and parmesan cheese shavings on top. Sprinkle with salt to taste before drizzling olive oil over it all.
- Finish by squeezing some additional lemon juice over everything and serve immediately!