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.

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.


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