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; cut longways, season and grill
Shaved Fennel Salad w/Apricots, Chili Oil, Parsley, Mint & Lamb Chops: serves 4-6
12 lamb chops (3 oz each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup apricots, dried or fresh, thinly sliced
1 shallot or small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup any vinegar except balsamic, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 small heads fennel
1/4 cup chili oil
1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed, leaves kept whole
10 sprigs mint, stemmed, leaves kept whole
1) Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature.
2) Toss the apricot, shallot, and vinegar together with a big pinch of salt to soak for a few minutes.
3) Cut the fennel in half from top to bottom, then shave thinly, leaving the core in place if it is tender or to hold the fennel petals together. Add with the chili oil to the apricot mixture.
4) Pat the chops dry, season again with salt and pepper and grill or sear the chops over high heat to medium-rare, 5-7 minutes per side, and let rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking. Top the chops with the fennel salad and the herbs and serve.