Fennel

fennel

I have truly fallen in love with fennel in the last few years.  Eaten raw, baked or steamed it adds more texture and flavor to a large variety of dishes.  Yes, it has a mild black licorice flavor, which I think is wonderful.

Storage and Preparation:

Fennel can be stored for up to a month in the refrigerator.  As with most bulbs and root crops the greens should be removed prior to long-term storage.  Although the bulb is sensitive to extreme cold and frost I store it in a plastic bag in my refrigerator vegetable bin.

When cooking or baking the fennel be sure to slice thinly and cook well.  I find that al dente fennel is not as appealing.

Recipes

Baked Fennel
Another recipe from my father- in – law.

1 bulb fennel julienned
1 shallot chopped
1/4-cup provolone cheese
1/4 breadcrumb
1tablespoon-grated Parmesan

Sauté the Fennel and shallots until tender. Place in a baking pan. Top with Provolone cheese and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Place until broiler for 10 minutes or until browned.
Serve warm and enjoy. I can’t wait to try this one.

Fennel Salad

1 bulb of fennel . . .leafy fronds cut off . . .sliced as thinly as possible
1 sweet onion sliced as thinly as possible
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Oregano
Drizzle on the olive oil and add salt and oregano to taste.
Can be eaten right away . . .or refrigerate to let the flavors blend.
This is similar to a coleslaw but without the creamy dressing.

Frittata:
I like to make these with all sorts of combinations. Essentially a frittata is a quiche without a crust. This week I made a Fennel Eggplant Frittata.

1 bulb fennel (sliced thin)
1 red onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium sized eggplant (cubed)
Sauté all these ingredients until tender (about 10 minutes). Add 5 paste tomatoes (chopped), 1/2 bunch Swiss chard (chopped). Sauté until greens wilt. In a roasting pan coated with olive oil place thin slices of zucchini for a crust. Top with sauté mixture. With a whisk, beat 6 eggs and 1 cup plain yogurt, season with salt and pepper and pour over contents of roasting pan. Top with raw cheddar cheese and goat cheese. Bake at 375 until solid (about 45 minutes).

Other Recipe Ideas:

  • A very good customer buys fennel fronds for making Fennel Pistachio Pesto.  I will have to try this.
  • Fennel Leek Stuffing is a tradition for our Thanksgiving.

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