Last week I mentioned that I really like fennel raw. I think it tastes best raw if it is shaved as thin as you can possibly get it. I used a food possessor for this salad, you can use a mandoline if you have one. Or, just use your knife and as you are cutting think ‘thin fennel, thin fennel’.
I got this recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It is really basic and, like most of the recipes on Heidi Swanson website it starts with a great idea that you can adapt to whatever you have on hand. I had fennel, zucchini, and the ingredients for the dressing. I also had some zucchini blossoms leftover from Thursday’s CSA pickup. I tore them up and added them to the salad. The blossoms add a nice floral/zucchini flavor and I think they are beautiful.
The main idea here is to cut the fennel very thin, and to let the flavors meld and mellow for a hour or so with the dressing before you eat.
I love roasted fennel, but I don’t love the oven on in the summer. Pan roasting is a great option when you don’t want to heat up the whole house with the oven on.
Just heat up a pan to medium and add some oil, I used olive oil. Add your sliced fennel, don’t crowd the pan or you will steam your fennel, not roast it.
Keep the heat to medium and after 8 or 10 minutes turn the fennel. You want it to slowly brown and get really soft and caramelized. This is after about 10 minutes, go slow.
This is going to take about 25 or 30 minutes.
You want it really ‘done’. Yum.
OK. What else? How about those fennel fronds? What to do with them? You can snip off the tender bits and use them like any herb, stuff them in a chicken or fish and roast or grill the fish or chicken.Or, you could make some tea. Pour boiling water over the fronds and wait 20 or 30 minutes and strain it. Drink it warm or chill it and drink it cold.
….there are a lot of fronds in a fennel bunch. I have been using them for my flower bouquets as green filler.
What a pretty and delicious plant. Have fun with your fennel this week. I’ll be at several of the pick-ups. Let me know what you are doing with your CSA vegetables. I love to hear from you! Have a great week.