Rocket Fennel Cacao Salad

Rocket Fennel Cacao Salad

The sweet and spicy flavours of the mango and the dressing combine beautifully with the peppery rocket leaves

This recipe started life as a simple mango and rocket (arugula) salad, and then quickly grew into something completely new to me.

Firstly, I’ve never put cacao butter on a salad before.  It turned out beautifully alongside the mango and the dressing.

I’m so happy with the dressing and the way it tastes with the peppery rocket leaves.  This is actually the first time I’ve used coconut oil in a salad dressing before and I really like it.

You’ll notice the recipe calls for warm water.  This is because cold water will seize the dressing.  The other thing to watch out for with the dressing is that it’s quite a small amount to be blending in a Vitamix or any other highspeed blender.  So start the blender off slowly and only increase the speed when the cashews are broken down and the whole thing isn’t jumping around in the jug.


Rocket Fennel Cacao Salad
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, shaved
  • 1 thai chili, finely diced
  • 5 basil leaves, cut chiffonade
  • ½ an avocado
  • 150g (5 ozs) rocket (arugula)
  • 1/4 cup sea veg salad (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients and arrange in a serving dish.



  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Blend all ingredients in a highspeed blender.


To serve

  • 1 tablespoons finely grated cacao butter
  1. Serve the dressing in a side dish, with the salad and top with grated cacao butter.



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  1. Sergute

    Hi Russell
    It as been long time. I tried to long in the mini fermented course I did I can’t remember my pass word. Sadly I did’nt save the reciepy

  2. Kathy Wrona

    Oh wow! This is so beautiful! Love the idea of serving the slightly bitter Arugula with a creamy cinnamonly slightly hot dressing along with the coolness of the chopped cucumber and shaved fennel along with the deliciously sweet and oh so indulgent Mango! What an awesome decadent meal. BTW so many of the ingredients here have so many medicinal benefits as well as being so tasty and just really so delightful. Thank you for sharing your recipe and beautiful images, what a beautiful treat.

    • Russell

      Thanks, Kathy. That’s what I love about working with these ingredients. I do it for taste when I’m writing the recipe, but intrinsically there’s a health benefit to each.

      • Kathy Wrona

        That’s one of the many reasons I enjoy your recipes so much not only are they created with readily available ingredients , you have a beautifully developed pallet and always favor the health conscious aspects when you create your delightful recipes. Thank you so much for this. Really makes your site and what you do stand out head and shoulders above the crowd~

  3. Kathleen Treharne

    Thank you, this looks yummy. I would like to try this with arugula , butter lettuce, shredded carrot and radish. Poppy or black sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

  4. Alicia Valdes

    Russell, this looks delicious! How do I make cacao butter? Are we talking here about coco butter? I use that to make my own body cream. Is it the same?

    • Russell

      Cacao is specifically the raw version using the traditional name of cacao instead of cocoa. Either will work 🙂

  5. Ginette

    Watched your demo this morning and will surely give it a go. The croquettes last week were delicious and are on my list of “definite redo”. Thank you for the recipes.

  6. Monica Anghel

    What an amazing recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Shaved cacao butter… who would have thought? But I love it!

  7. Tricia Rush

    Hi Russell!

    This looks amazing! I have to ask though – what is sea veg salad? Is it a pre-packaged product that I should be able to find in any grocery or a specialty item I need to look for in an Asian market?

    I like to try new recipes as written, even with the optional ingredients, as a baseline.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Russell

      Hey Tricia, it’s a mix of a couple of different seaweeds. Here in the UK I use a Clearspring variety, which is dulse, nori and sea lettuce. Any one or more of those would be great.

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