I’m not a great fan of the flavor of fennel, but I find that when it’s mixed with other vegetables, it adds a great background texture and taste. People rave over the Marinated Fennel and Mushroom recipe in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p.115. Steve Waxman’s recipe for Tomato-Fennel Soup, also in Recipes from America’s Farms is also great. And Candice provided a link to an article on fennel:
SOME THOUGHTS ON FENNEL from Carnegie Hill website, by Barbara Thalenfeld
Fennel can be eaten raw, although the flavor might be too intense for some. Remove the tough outer skin and core and then shave it into thin slices using a mandoline. Mix the fennel with baby arugula, chopped kalamata olives, thin apple slices and orange segments. I toss with a simple balsamic vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Sometimes I top the salad with chopped walnuts. Braised fennel is also delicious tossed in veggie pasta or served alongside fish or chicken. I remove the outer layer (but not the core – this helps it stay together), slice into 1/2 – inch slices and lay flat in a casserole dish. I season the fennel with salt and pepper and add approx. 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of white wine, cover and braise in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes until tender (you may want to braise it longer or shorter, depending on the size). I then remove the cover and allow the fennel to brown just a bit in the oven, about 15 minutes. The flavor is sweet and mellow.
The leaves on top of the fennel bulb can be saved to use as an herb to add extra flavor or as a garnish.
Cucumber & fennel salad
Good Food Magazine
PREP: 15 MINS
This refreshing side salad is low-fat, superhealthy and full of summer flavor
- 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and cut into thin half moons
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
- ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream or yogurt
- juice 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- small bunch dill, roughly chopped
Put cucumber in a sieve. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and the sugar, then leave for 10 mins. Add fennel.
Mix sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and dill, then season with black pepper and add to fennel mix.
Squash Smothered in Fennel and Thyme
- 2 small summer squash, (about 12 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fennel bulb, (about 1 small bulb), plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
1 Preheat oven to 450°F.
2 Quarter squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Combine the squash with sliced fennel, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and roast until the vegetables are tender and the fennel is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir in fennel fronds and serve.
Fennel and Celery Salad
From Mark Bittman, NYT
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
- 3 celery ribs, trimmed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.
Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.
FENNEL AND PLUM SALAD
Can be made well in advance of serving. From the California Walnut Board; serves 6.
- 1 head fennel, the stems and feathery tops removed
- 4 firm but ripe plums, pitted, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, torn in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
To make the fennel and plum salad, cut the fennel in half lengthwise. Slice it very thinly, using a mandolin, the thinnest slicing blade of a food processsor, or a very sharp knife. Place in a large bowl and add the plums, parsley, chives, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and coat, then refrigerate for an hour or two. When you are ready to serve, add the walnuts and toss the salad again.
Zucchini-and-Fennel Salad With Pecorino and Mint
- 1 ¼ pounds zucchini
- ½ cup torn mint leaves
- 1 cup shaved aged pecorino Romano
- 1 small head fennel, cored and thinly shaved
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to thinly shave the zucchini lengthwise. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, mint, pecorino Romano, fennel, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Add more lemon juice or olive oil to taste.
Fennel Slaw with Mint Vinaigrette
Prep time: 10 minutesMarinating time: 1 hourYield: Serves 4-6
The sugar helps bring out the natural sweetness of the fennel, don’t leave out!
- 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 medium bulbs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot or onion
1 Make the vinaigrette: Put the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, salt, sugar and mint in a blender and pulse briefly to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is well combined.
2 Shave the fennel into thin slices: Using a mandoline, shave the fennel into 1/8 inch slices starting from the bottom of the bulb. Don’t worry about coring the fennel bulb, it’s unnecessary. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the bulb as thin as you can. Chop some of the fennel fronds as well to toss in with the salad.
3 Marinate fennel with vinaigrette: Toss with the fennel and marinate for at least an hour. Serve this salad either cold or at room temperature.
GARLIC SCAPE, SNAP PEA, AND FENNEL RISOTTO
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4-6 garlic scapes
- 1 small onion
- splash of sherry vinegar
- 1 cp Arborio rice
- 1 cp pearled barley
- 1 qt stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cp Pino Grigio wine
- 1 cp fresh snap peas
- ¼ cp chopped fennel fronds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 oz. gruyuere, diced (optional)
Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Heat stock in a separate pan and keep covered on low heat. Cut scapes and onion into butter and sauté until onions are semi-transparent. Add a splash of sherry vinegar (or similar light wine or rice vinegar). Add rice and barley and sauté in the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, and when absorbed, begin adding the warm stock, one half cup at a time as the rice adsorbs the liquid, stirring often if not constantly. When the rice and barley begin to plump, add paprika and salt, snap peas and fennel fronds. To test the rice, bite through a single grain and check that there is no uncooked (white) spot in the center. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in diced gruyere until evenly melted.
STEAMED FENNEL SALMON WITH COLLARDS AND KALE
Fennel fronds and thick greens make a wonderful base for cooking fish, and the flavor of fennel pairs particularly well with salmon. This recipe steams the fish over a bed of greens, and the fish soaks up the flavors as the steam rises.
- 1-1/2 lbs fresh salmon
- 2cps fennel fronds coarsely chopped
- 4 large collard leaves cut in thick strips
- 4 Red Russian kale leaves coarsely chopped (optional. If not using, just double the collards, or substitute beet greens)
- juice of ½ lemon
- a splash of rice or sherry vinegar
- fresh or dried oregano
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Use a dutch oven or similarly large, heavy pot with lid on the stove top. Heat the pot to medium to low. Line the bottom of the pot with the cut fennel fronds, collards, and kale (if using). Gently place the salmon on top of the greens. Juice the ½ lemon on the salmon. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to moisten the salmon and greens, sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper on top of the salmon. Cook on a low heat, with the lid shut to steam the salmon. The moisture released from the greens will protect the salmon from burning. Cook until the fish is pink and flakes.