Fennel Salad from Algeria Perfect for May

In North Africa salads of all kinds are a favorite dish, served as part of a meze table, called qimiyya in Algeria, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats.  This recipe from Algeria is simply called salāṭat bisbas, fennel salad.  Although I love raw fennel which makes both a great dipping implement and sliced thin for a salad, in this preparation the fennel is boiled first and then drained and served at room temperature with its dressing. The so-called Florence fennel called for in the recipe is nothing other than the typical fennel you will find in your market. Typically, I would make several of these kinds of salads earlier in the day and then serve them with whatever was being grilled for supper.

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Salāṭat Bisbas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Algerian
Serves: 6
  • 2 Florence fennel bulbs (about 1½ pounds), stalks and leaves removed and saved for another purpose
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Quarter the fennel bulbs lengthwise. In a large saucepan, bring some lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the fennel until tender, about 20 minutes, drain, and let cool. Place the fennel on a serving platter and sprinkle with the garlic, parsley, and olives.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice until it looks creamy yellow and pour evenly over the fennel. Serve at room temperature.



  1. What a surprisingly elegant and delicious dish! Perfect as a first course for grilled or roasted meats or, in my case, a merguez ragout.

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