The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Strawberry, Fennel and Arugula Salad

Variety isn’t just the spice of life; it’s the one thing that will keep you from falling into a food rut. Salad lovers often tell me they get bored with the same old thing. The danger, of course, is this disenchantment can lead them away from the greens their bodies really need. Enter this salad and the idea of eating seasonally. It’s not just a catch phrase. Each season brings new foods just hitting their peak; in this case strawberries and arugula were just taking their first walks of the spring down the runway. In addition to their incredibly sweet taste, strawberries fight inflammation and tumor growth. Here you’ve got a fresh salad that feels like Pop Rocks going off in your mouth: Strawberries, mint, a lemony balsamic vinaigrette, a topping of sliced almonds. You want variety? This is the salad equivalent of Secret Santa: Lots of surprises, and every one of them a gift.

 Serves 4

4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
1 cup fennel bulb, cut in half, core removed and thinly sliced with a mandoline or a sharp knife.
12 organic sliced strawberries
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
6 tablespoons lemony balsamic vinaigrette
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds

Place a small skillet over low flame and add almonds. Toast, stirring often, until slightly golden and nutty smelling, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Combine the arugula, fennel, strawberries and mint in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Top with the toasted almonds.

Lemony Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes ½ cup

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in the order in which they are written.  Whisk until thoroughly blended.

 Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Katz

Variations:  Substitute toasted walnuts for almonds.  Add a little goat cheese.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  • Cook Time: Not applicable

Storage: If you must store the salad, don’t add the dressing. Store the greens and in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day at most.

Per Serving: Calories: 160; Total Fat: 11.2 g (1.4 g saturated, 6.7 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 12 g; Protein: 5 g; Fiber: 5 g; Sodium: 200 mg

Equipment note: A Mandolin (no you can’t strum it) allows you to slice vegetables like fennel to a uniformed thickness.  Mandolins used to be reserved for professional use, but now there are many inexpensive hand-held models available at kitchen stores and online.


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Rebecca Katz, MS

About Rebecca Katz, MS

Rebecca Katz, MS, chef, educator and culinary translator; Executive Chef, Food As Medicine; award-winning author, The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery and One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and their Friends; consultant and speaker for leading health care institutions including UCSF, Stanford Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine; Director, Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, Bolinas, CA. Visit her website at

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