Nectarine and Fennel Salad on a table in a Studio
Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post
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Nectarine and Fennel Salad

This is a go-to salad when nectarines are in high season. The combination of fruit and slightly licorice-tasting fennel's a winner, and the basil-infused simple syrup ties all the elements together.

A mandoline is handy for shaving the fennel nice and thin.

Serve as an afternoon snack, as a salad course and alongside grilled proteins.

You'll have basil-infused simple syrup left over, which can be refrigerated for a few weeks. If the nectarines you used are fairly firm, the dressed salad can be refrigerated for up to a day or two.

From deputy Food editor/recipes editor Bonnie S. Benwick.


measuring cup
Servings: 4-6

For the syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 leafy stems fresh basil

For the salad

  • 3 medium fennel bulbs, with a few fronds reserved for garnish
  • 4 or 5 firm nectarines, pitted and cut into fairly thin slices or wedges
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed
  • Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Step 1

    For the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat; once it comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat; add the basil, making sure it is submerged. Let sit for 10 minutes, then discard the basil. Cool completely and transfer to a clean glass jar. The yield is 1 cup.

  2. Step 2

    For the salad: Discard the tough outer layer of the fennel bulbs. Cut in half from top to bottom, then cut out the cores. Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to shave or slice the fennel as thin as possible. Transfer to a serving bowl.

  3. Step 3

    Add the nectarine slices and blueberries to the bowl. Pour just enough of the syrup over the mixture to lightly coat it all, then stir gently. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and stir again just before serving.

  4. Step 4

    Garnish with the mint and a few fennel fronds.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (based on 6, using 1/3 cup of the syrup)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    33 g

  • Fat

    1 g

  • Fiber

    6 g

  • Protein

    3 g

  • Sodium

    60 mg

  • Sugar

    26 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From deputy Food editor/recipes editor Bonnie S. Benwick.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick