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Fennel – Everything You Could Want In A Vegetable! - All The Single Girlfriends

Fennel – Everything You Could Want In A Vegetable!

Foodie Friday

May 11, 2012 by

I ask you:  don’t you sometimes want a vegetable that you can do almost anything with?

Use it raw, roast, sauté, fry, shave, slice, chop, puree or freeze? And be assured it plays well with others?

Fennel would be your choice.

And although the white, bulbous plant topped with stalks ending in frilly fronds looks downright ‘alien,’- according to one food blogger – it is definitely worth taking to home and befriending.

The flavor is sweet and mildly licorice. That characteristic is most notable when fennel is used raw but mellows appreciably when it is cooked.  This staple of Mediterranean cuisine shows up regularly in restaurants, cookbooks and food blogs.

Look for firm, unblemished bulbs and plan to use the white part for dishes featuring the fennel but make sure to save the stalks and fronds for flavoring stocks or chopping with other vegetables.  Start looking and you will find recipes to include in every part of a meal, from appetizers to fennel-flavored desserts. The two recipes below could start you on a life-time fennel friendship.

Fennel, Kumquat (or Tangerine or Orange) and Onion Salad

Ingredients

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

1 red onion, chopped and ‘tamed’*

7 kumquats or 2 tangerines or 2 orange

¼ c. crumbled feta

Dressing

1 t. Dijon mustard

2-4 T. Balsamic vinegar or other vinegar such as sherry or champagne

4 T. virgin olive oil

 Directions

  1. Slice fennel on slicing disk of processor or with Mandoline slicer
  2. *“Tame” onion – chop coarsely, cover with 3 T balsamic or other vinegar, cover loosely with wax paper and microwave for 3 minutes – let cool for a few minutes
  3. Slice kumquats (remove seeds) or segment tangerines (or peel and slice orange
  4. Crumble feta
  5. Add dijon mustard, olive oil and  additional vinegar to onions
  6. Mix all ingredients together and let flavors blend

 

Serves 6 as salad

Fennel, Potato and Pepper Gratin

 Ingredients

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

10 small red potatoes, thinly sliced

2 red and/or orange peppers, thinly sliced

½ – 1C white wine

1C mixed grated cheeses – Aged Gouda, Parmesan, Cheddar

2 T virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Coat shallow casserole with olive oil
  2. Slice potatoes and spread them in casserole – sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Slice peppers and sprinkle over potatoes
  4. Slice fennel and spread over peppers – season with more salt and pepper
  5. Pour wine over vegetables, cover with foil and bake at 400 for 40 minutes until cooked through
  6. Uncover and sprinkle grated cheeses over casserole and heat until cheese is melted and brown

Serves 6 as side dish

Graphic credit: My Inwood – Inwood Farmers Market

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About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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