Sheet Pan

Roasted Apple & Fennel Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese

September 28, 2018
18 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 people
Author Notes

One of our favorite ways to enjoy first-of-the-season apples beyond eating them out of hand, is in all sorts of fall-inspired salads—sometimes thinly sliced and simply tossed with spicy arugula, sometimes as one ingredient in a dense salad packed with roasted winter squash, farro, toasted nuts and more. Here we’ve combined it with a common companion—fennel—and roasted them both together to intensify their earthy fall flavors. Fresh herbs and lemon zest brighten and lighten the salad up. Toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese make it a little bit indulgent and totally irresistible. We serve the dish with roasted pork or chicken but it’s a filling meal on its own. —What We Eat Gals

What You'll Need
  • 3 baking apples (those that retain their structure when baked like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pinklady, etc.)
  • 2 fennel bulbs with fronds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (crumbled mild blue cheese would be delicious as well)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 425*F. Cut the fennel bulbs into 1-inch wedges, reserving the fennel fronds for finishing the salad. Cut the apples into similarly sized wedges. Spread the fennel on one parchment-lined sheet pan, and spread the apple on another. Drizzle both generously with olive oil, and season with salt, freshly cracked black peppers, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Roast the apple pan for 15 to 20 minutes, and roast the fennel pan for ~30 minutes, flipping each halfway through, until all are caramelized, golden brown, and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on sheet pans.
  2. Meanwhile, prep mint leaves and fennel fronds. Slice scallions. Toast, peel and, chop hazelnuts. Crumble goat cheese.
  3. To finish the dish, carefully layer the roasted apples, roasted fennel, mint leaves, fennel fronds, sliced scallions, toasted hazelnuts and crumbled goat cheese on several layers on a shallow serving platter. Zest over 1 lemon and shower the whole thing with lemon juice and a drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy as a filling salad on its own or serve with roasted pork or chicken.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • Andrea Messamore Engelmeyer
    Andrea Messamore Engelmeyer
  • SophieL
  • Laura Edgerton
    Laura Edgerton
  • Annie Baker
    Annie Baker

18 Reviews

TooMuch5320 September 7, 2021
What a WINNER!!! I tried this for Rosh Hashanah dinner and it was the star of the show. So easy and so simple. I think if in each layer you put lemon zest, it will make it even better. Definitely going to make it for more events
cynthia C. November 7, 2019
I absolutely loved this. The diverse flavors blended in a really interesting way. Love the slight kick from the chili flakes and the sweet from the lemon zest. Very quick and easy to make. Hardest thing is getting the stupid skins off the hazelnuts!
deirdre H. January 6, 2019
This was easy and wonderful. We used toasted pine nuts rather than hazel nuts. Agree this can be doctored with many leftovers. I think I will use this for guests and pair it with Cornish hens. Super elegant! Super yummy.
Corj November 17, 2018
We loved this! I played around quite a bit because of what I had on hand but still used the fennel, apples, goat cheese and hazelnuts. Added 1 cubed rutabaga, some shallots and mushrooms. For added protein (though the cheese would do nicely enough), I added a can of chickpeas that I sizzled on the stove in olive oil with several cloves of garlic. Didn't have mint which we love but the recipe was still so good and it had an intriguing, must-take-another-bite quality that makes this a keeper in our house.
What W. November 21, 2018
Love the sound of those adaptations. I'm a true believer of recipes as templates/suggestions, not edict. xo
drbabs November 12, 2018
I made this last night, and it was awesome! The combination of mint and chile flakes is inspired! I had a little left over, and it made a wonderful salad for lunch over mixed greens. I’m so happy that you created this recipe.
What W. November 21, 2018
Aww, thank you so much for trying it! So glad you enjoyed it fresh and as leftovers.
Andrea M. November 9, 2018
Will this work good without the mint leaves? It looks and sounds totally fab with the exception of the mint, which is a flavor that i'm not fond of at all. And congrats on being the winning submission!!!!!
What W. November 9, 2018
Thanks so much Andrea! Yes, this will absolutely work without the mint. I know it’s not for everyone. Somehow I’m addicted:)
Andrea M. November 9, 2018
Ty so much!!!!! I've already shared with my sister-in-law and we're planning for a family night to make this and enjoy together! We'll definitely have to accompany with roasted chicken and i'm salivating just thinking about it!
SophieL November 9, 2018
Excellent salad! I was a little skeptical about the mix of ingredients (apples, fennel, green onions, mint, cheese, red pepper flakes?), but I had green apples and fennel from my CSA box, so I gave it a go. I followed the recipe and went for the blue cheese option - it all worked. This recipe is a keeper.
What W. November 9, 2018
So glad you enjoyed it! Isn’t it fun to discover new flavor combinations? That’s how I feel we Ottolenghi’s recipes.
Laura E. November 1, 2018
Congratulations on the top 2!! I haven't had the chance to make this salad yet, but I just realized I have all of the ingredients on hand, so it's definitely happening. It looks incredible.
What W. November 1, 2018
Let us know how it goes!
Annie B. November 1, 2018
This recipe is delicious!! Definitely bringing this to my Friendsgiving.
What W. November 1, 2018
So glad you liked it Annie! It will be on our Thanksgiving tables as well:) It pairs so well with Russ Parson's dry-brined turkey, another stellar F52 recipe.
cosmiccook October 20, 2018
What is the "prep" for fronds and mint leaves" please.
What W. October 20, 2018
Great questions! You can just give the fronds a rough chop or tear them gently by hand. If your mint leaves are small, simply leave them whole, otherwise give them a rough chop or tear them gently by hand as well. Hope you enjoy the salad!