Fennel, Arugula, and Pea Tendril Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Bright, fresh, peppery, sweet, and crunchy are all ways to describe this quintessentially spring salad. Pea tendrils are the curly thread-like tops of a pea shoot that help the plant climb. In abundance in the spring after peas are first planted, they have a delicate crisp texture with a pea-like flavor. Combined with peppery arugula and the licorice flavor of the fennel, the sweet orange dressing brings this salad together in perfect springtime harmony.


2 large fennel bulbs, sliced thinly

Juice of 1½ oranges (about ⅓ cup)

½ tablespoon maple or date syrup

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

Freshly ground pepper

4 cups arugula leaves

2 cups loosely packed pea tendrils

  1. Place the thinly sliced fennel into a bowl filled with ice water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to a small, lidded jar, add the orange juice, maple or date syrup, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and a few grinds of pepper. Cover and shake vigorously until well-blended; set aside.
  3. On a large platter or in a shallow bowl, place the arugula and top it with the pea tendrils. Drain and dry the fennel with a towel or in a salad spinner, and place on top of the greens. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.