This autumn Caesar salad featuring thinly shaved fennel, beets, radishes, and apples is the ultimate homage to fall. While it’s a far cry from the classic version, this salad has the creamy dressing, handfuls of Parmesan cheese, and crunchy bread crumbs that make any Caesar salad stand out from the crowd. Toasted bread crumbs lend this salad the same flavor as croutons but are way easier to eat—make sure to add them to your salad just before serving for maximum crunch and minimal sogginess. A mandoline slicer will be your friend in this recipe, but if you don’t have one, use a well-sharpened knife to thinly slice the veggies or use a vegetable peeler to shave the beet, radishes, or apple.
- Place a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil followed by the panko bread crumbs and a generous pinch of salt. Toast the bread crumbs, stirring occasionally until deep golden brown and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine (be very generous with the salt and pepper).
- Assemble the salad. Combine the fennel, beet, radishes, apple, and parmesan cheese in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss well to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Toss in bread crumbs just before serving and top with more grated Parmesan.
Zola Gregory is a writer and recipe developer based in Seattle. Having previously worked as a pastry chef and baker, she now enjoys helping others find success in their own kitchens through her stories, recipes, and baking classes.