Apple Fennel Salad with Korean Mint

Way back, (maybe 4 or 5 seconds ago … who can be sure?) I had no idea what Korean Licorice mint was. You, at this very moment, may be in the same position I was in. And I am jealous of each and every one of you.

You know how you get a pang of jealousy when someone says they’re about to read  your favourite book for the first time? And you wish you could go back to where you got to experience the greatness of it for the first time again? Well, that’s what it’s like with Korean Licorice Mint.


Korean Licorice Mint is the only flavoured mint I’ve ever tasted that tastes exactly what it claims to taste like.  It tastes like sweet licorice. There’s no two ways about it. It tastes exactly like licorice.

Which makes it the perfect addition to this Apple Fennel salad.  It’s not necessary, but if you can source some out you won’t be disappointed.  Unless of course you don’t like sweet licorice in which case you will be extremely disappointed.  You might even get angry with me for suggesting such a thing.

I got my Korean Licorice Mint as a special present from Linda Crago for speaking at her Seedy Saturday event, but you can buy the seeds on Amazon.  Just remember it *is* mint and needs to be contained in a pot unless you want it to take over your garden. And your neighbour’s garden.  And a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere.








Apple Fennel Salad




1 Granny Smith apple
1 Pink Lady apple
1 bulb fennel (fronds reserved)
Korean Licorice Mint leaves (optional)
Pecans (candied or not)



2 Tbsp White Balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsps Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt


Core apples and slice to 1/8th an inch thick.
Shave fennel as thinly as possible. You can do this with a knife or using a vegetable peeler.
Add shaved fennel to bowl, top with apple slices, pecans, a scattering of fennel fronds and Korean Licorice Mint.

Dress salad and eat.


This is definitely a summertime salad.  It’s light and refreshing and crispy.   You can add as much or as little fennel as you like.  I prefer to have about twice as much fennel as apple and about twice as much green apple to red.  I also like to throw in a handful of baby greens at the bottom of the bowl if I have some on hand.  You … well you can do whatever you want.

The only thing I insist, INSIST on … is using not only White Balsamic vinegar, but *expensive* white balsamic vinegar.  Nothing less than $10 a bottle.  You can get it for $3.99 but it won’t … will NOT … taste the same.  Kind of like a strawberry flavoured barium swallow and the strawberry milkshake they tell you it tastes like, taste nothing the same.

Speaking of which … feel free to add strawberries to your salad if they’re in season.  For those of you who have never tried an in season strawberry.  I am jealous of each and every one of you.

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  1. I’m not a huge fan of fennel, but it actually sounds like it might taste pretty good with the apples. Who knows I might just give it a try.

  2. Gerri says:

    I love this post. Well-written, funny, and intriguing.

  3. cred says:

    have you tried bronze fennel before? If not, I envy you.
    It’s doesn’t form a bulb like bulb fennel but has feathery, dill-like leaves (related to dill) and tastes like licorice.
    It would be tasty in this too- I will try this recipe for sure and will add fresh strawberries- perfect match for licorice flavour.

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I love licorice..will look for Korean Licorice Mint at the local greenhouses..I also love salads with fruit in them..Let’s see..I have the olive oil, sea salt and pepper..It appears that a shopping trip is needed..

  5. Zoe says:

    nom nom nom nom :) !! Thank you!

  6. susan says:

    This sounds amazing – I will have to try it this weekend, after I get some more fennel out of the garden.

    I also like making slaw with fennel, radishes, and carrots.

  7. Manisha says:

    I’m not a fan of licorice but I have two fennel heads in my fridge from my CSA. I am very intrigued with mixing it with a green apple. But i will pass on the mint. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Sara says:

    So pretty! Bookmarking this page to re-visit in fall. Fennel doesn’t survive our hot summers here in Texas. But it will be delightful in late fall when fennel is back in season and the pecan harvest is in full swing. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Well, this looks fabulous! Except for the Korean licorice mint, which I would leave out since I don’t like licorice. Also, I’m fascinated by your picture of the bowl of salad – it looks so artsy, magazine-y…how do you make the bowl all nice and in focus, and the background all blurry?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna – That’s the depth of field. You get that depending on what focal length you use in combination with what F stop. You can also do tricks like that using a simple iphone or instagram apps. ~ karen!

  10. Laura Bee says:

    Looks delicious. Nice & simple too – anything with more than 5 ingredients seems like too much work in the summer.

  11. Kim says:

    Love your use of the Amazon Affiliates program!! I made .36 cents yesterday — booyah!

  12. Susan says:

    Karen, you will be delighted to know that when you get old enough, that you completely forget things, like books you’ve read, the names of significant people in your life, where your glasses are. It always starts with the glasses, the rest come later. Give yourself two weeks, and you can pick up a book you just read two weeks ago, and you’d swear you’d never seen it before in your life. Or you could get 3/4 of the way through it, and then something sounds vaguely familiar. So, you WILL be able to read all of your favorite books again, one day, just as if you’d never read them before. You just have to wait for it!

  13. Marti says:

    Kind of like a strawberry flavoured barium swallow and the strawberry milkshake they tell you it tastes like.

    Explain further, please? Um, in detail. Lots of detail.

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