Ahhh...fennel...you either love it or you hate it, but if you've never tried it you definitely should! It's great for digestion, smelly breath and it tastes a bit like anise. The whole thing can be eaten both raw and cooked and has a lot of the vitamin B's in it.
QUICK IDEAS: put the leaves in your salad or shave the bulb in your salad, too; it goes great in any egg or fish dish, just put it in there.
Veritable Vegetable Sandwiches: Serves 4-8
from Farm-Fresh and Fast by FairShare CSA Coalition
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 eggplants (any variety), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise
1 sweet or red onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced basil leaves
Bread of your choice
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Purslane leaves or nasturtium flowers and leaves
1) Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread a thin layer of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) over the bottom of a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Spread the eggplant, squash, fennel, onion, garlic and tofu into the pan in a single layer.
2) Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper.
3) Roast until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the oven.
4) Sprinkle the basil over the vegetables; cover the pan with aluminum foil, allowing the basil to steam for a few minutes. Remove the foil.
5) Pile a portion of the roasted vegetables and tofu onto your favorite sandwich bread. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and purslane or nasturtiums.
Scalloped Potatoes and Fennel: Serves 12
from Bon Appetit November 2009
6 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
4 2-in. long fresh rosemary sprigs
2 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground white pepper
2 large fennel bulbs with fronds
3 1/2 lbs. medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1) Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter 13x9 glass baking dish. Place garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs in bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine cream, coarse salt, and white pepper in large bowl.
2) Cut off any stalks and fronds from fennel bulbs; discard stalks. Finely chop fennel fronds; cover and chill.Very thinly slice fennel bulbs.
3) Layer half of fennel slices evenly atop garlic and rosemary in baking dish. Peel potatoes and place immediately in large bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration. Very thinly slice potatoes into rounds. Immediately add potatoes to bowl with cream mixture, turning to coat potatoes.
4) Arrange half of potato slices evenly over fennel slices in baking dish, reserving cream mixture in bowl. Repeat layering with remaining fennel slices, then remaining potato slices. Pour cream mixture in bowl over fennel-potato mixture in baking dish. Dot with butter cubes. Cover baking dish with foil, doming the foil slightly so it does not touch potatoes.
5) Bake scalloped potatoes until almost tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 F. Remove foil and bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is deep golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds and serve.
Roasted Fennel and Mushroom Salad with Radishes
from Cook's Illustrated March/April 2008
2 medium bulbs fennel (about 1 1/2 pounds), bulbs quartered, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/2 in. thick slices; 1/3 cup fronds reserved and chopped
20 ounces cremini, portobello, or shittake mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and cut into quarters if large or halved if medium
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
4-6 radishes, cut in half and sliced thin
1) Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss fennel and mushrooms with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and sugar in large bowl. Remove baking sheet from oven and, working quickly, carefully transfer fennel and mushrooms to sheet and spread in even layer. Do not wash bowl. Roast until vegetables are tender and well-browned on one side, 20 to 25 minutes (do not stir during roasting).
2) Meanwhile, whisk remaining tablespoon oil, lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in now-empty bowl.
3) Toss hot vegetables with vinaigrette and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Stir in radishes and reserved fennel fronds, transfer to serving platter, and serve.
Fennel and Apple Chopped Salad
from Cook's Illustrated July/August 2009
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2 in. dice
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/4 in. dice
2 Jonagold, Honeycrisp, or Topaz apples, cored and cut into 1/4 in. dice
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 small head Romaine lettuce, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 1 cup)
1) Combine cucumber and 1/2 tsp. salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 15 minutes.
2) Whisk oil and vinegar together in large bowl. Add drained cucumber, fennel, apples, onion, and tarragon; toss and let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 5 minutes.
3) Add romaine and walnuts; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide salad among plates; top each with some goat cheese and serve.
Fennel with Parmesan
Fennel, sliced (you can keep part of the "fingers" on each slice)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1) Drizzle fennel slices with olive oil
2) Sprinkle on cheese and add pepper
Braised Fennel: Serves 4
From Zucchini to Asparagus
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup onions or scallions
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
2 medium Fennel bulbs, sliced (cut lengthwise into 6 pieces each)
1 ¼ chicken stock
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1)Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in heavy, ovenproof skillet over low heat.
2) Add onions, cardamom, and mace; sautee 8 minutes.
3) Add fennel and toss to coat. Stir in stock, bring to boil, cover, and braise in oven for 30 minutes, basting occasionally.
4) Place skillet over high heat and boil until liquid thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Fennel Egg Salad: Makes 2 cups
From Asparagus to Zucchini
6 eggs (not to fresh…they’ll be too difficult to peel!)
1/3 cup finely chopped fennel stalk
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh onion
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Cover pan tightly and set timer for 9 minutes.
2) When timer goes off, drain eggs and immerse them in ice water 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and quarter eggs; place in food processor and, using the pulse button, pulse until finely chopped 8 to 12 times.
3) Add remaining ingredients; pulse until ingredients are well blended, 3 to 6 more times. Use as a sandwich filling, a spread for crackers, or a garnish for tossed green salads.
Fennel-Roasted whole Salmon: serves 10-12
From Good Food to Share
1 whole salmon 6-8lbs (stick to wild caught or Pacific salmon as it is a more sustainable choice than Atlantic)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons (I substitute apple cider vinegar because I can find it locally)
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices (reserve fronds)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1) Preheat oven to 500
2) Rub the cavity of the salmon with olive oil (the "cavity" is where the salmon was gutted; open it up and rub the oil inside)
3) Lay thinly sliced lemons or apple cider vinegar in cavity. Strip a small handfull of of thyme sprigs in the cavity, too.
4) Rub the outside of the salmon with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5) In a bowl toss fennel slices with remaining olive oil to coat. Spread the fennel in an even layer on a deep, rimmed baking sheet. Place the fish on top. (if it doesn't fit, cut fish in half and fit insode the dish). Top with fennel fronds.
6) Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 425. Pour the wine into the pan all around the fish, roasting until opaque (or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130 degrees). Start checking at 30 minutes...may take up to 45 depending on the size of the fish.
7) Remove the salmon from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve whole from the pan, allowing guests to help themselves. Serve with aoili (recipe to follow)
1) Whisk 2 large egg yolks, with a pinch of salt and pepper until blended. In a slow, steady stream, add 1 cup olive oil, whisking constantly until thick.
2) Stir in the grated zest of 1/2 lemon, then thin with lemon juice until it is the flavor you like.
Roasted Vegetable Baklava: Serves 6
From Gourmet Magazine December 2008
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (if you wish)
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1 lb all purpose potato (like Yukon Gold)
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, reserving fronds, bulbs halved and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
3/4 lb parsnips (3 medium or equivalent), sliced diagonally 1/3 inch thick
1/2 lbs carrots (3 medium or equivalent), sliced diagonally 1/3 inch thick
1 large onion (or equivalent) laved and sliced
3/4 olive oil, divided
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup chopped dill
8 (17 by 12 inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen (Cover stack of phyllo shhets with plastic wrap and damp towel when preparing to start using them
1) Preheat oven to 425.
2) Pulse walnuts with bread crumbs in a food processor until fine
3) Peel potatoes and slice 1/4 inch thick. Divide all veggies between 2 large 4-sided sheet pans and toss each pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
4) Roast vegetables, stirring halfway through, until soft and golden brown in spots, 35 to 40 minutes.
5) Add 1/3 cup water to each pan of vegetables and stir and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom. Chop 1/4 cup fennel fronds. Combine all vegetables in one pan and toss with fennel fronds and dill.
6) Brush another baking dish with some olive oil. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface, then brush with some oil and sprinkle with 2 rounded tablespoons of the walnut mixture. Place another phyllo sheet on top and repeat. Top with a third sheet and brush with oil.
7) Drape phyllo stack into one half of the baking dish, gently pressing it into the bottom and up the sides leaves a bit of an overhang.
8) Make another stack of three and repeat on the other side of the dish.
9) Spoon vegetables into the phyllo shell. Fold overhand over the top (it won't close). Brush the edge with oil.
10) Brush remaining 2 sheets of phyllo with remaining oil, tear in half, cumple, and arrange on top of filling.
11) Bake in middle of the oven until phyllo is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Fennel and Carrot Slaw with Olive Dressing: Serves 4
From Gourmet Magazine February 2008
2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds
5 carrot, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoonbalsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup spanish green olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, or to taste (you can use fresh hot peppers, too)
6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (I use my own dehydrated tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1) Chop 3 tablespoons fennel fronds. Set aside
2) Cut bulbs into thin matchsticks and toss with coarsely grated carrots in a bowl.
3) In separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, olives, pepper flakes (if using), and salt to taste and toss with vegetables.
4) Chill, covered at least 30 minutes.
5) Just before serving, stir in reserved fronds and sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes and parsley over top.
Fennel Gratine: Serves 4
From Serving Up the Harvest
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1) Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the fennel until slightly softned, 4 to 5 minutes.
2) Transfer the fennel to a 1 12 quart gratin or baking dish and cover to keep warm.
3) Preheat broiler.
4) Melt the butter over medium heat in the same saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook until smooth, stirring frequently.
5) Add 1/2 cup of the parmesan and season to taste with salt and nutmeg.
6) Pour the white sauce over the fennel. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.
7) Place the dish under the broiler and broil until the top is browned and bubbling 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.
Ziti with Fennel and Sausage: Serves 4 to 6
From Serving Up the Harvest
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot italian sausage, removed from casings
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered, and sliced, with 1 tablespoon fronds reserved
1 small onion, diced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes with puree OR fresh plum tomatoes pureed in food processor
1/4 cup red wine
2 garlic cloves, minced OR sub in chopped scallions
Salt and pepper
1 lb ziti (or other short pasta)
Parmesan, for serving
1) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and saute, crumbling and breaking the meat up with a spoon, until meat has lost it's pink color, about 8 minutes.
2) Remove from saucepan and drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside.
3) Add 1 more tablespoon oil to the pan if it is dry. Add the fennel and onion and saute until fennel is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
4) Return sausage to the pan and add tomatoes, wine, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare pasta.
5) Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain well.
6) Add pasta to sauce and mix. Add reserved pasta water as needed.
7) Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.