What To Do With

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Introducing Fennel

This year's favorite vegetable at the McE house

I like fennel that has a smaller bulb as opposed to a larger one. It makes for less core and more yummy stuff!

For a fresh salad

1. wash the fennel bulb and chop with a sharp knife where the root and fronds begin.

cut the fennel bulb vertically first. Place the flat part of the fennel down on your cutting board. with a sharp pairing knife slice the fennel as thinly

as possible.

place in a salad bowl.

2. Clean a cucumber (preferably a small portuguese cucumber) and peel. Slice vertically and take out the seeds with a small spoon. You don't want to end up with a wet salad!

3. Slice a vidalia or sweet onion the same way you sliced the fennel bulb.

4. Toss together in a bowl add lemon juice, fruity olive oil, fleur de sel, pepper.

On a plate arrange baby arugula, add mixture of fennel, cucumber and vidalia onion.

peel a grapefruit and tear into wedges. Place the wedges on top of salad. Driizle more olive oil and serve.

To add texture add shaved parmesan or pecorino cheese. They are both sharp and delicious!


For a Pasta sauce

Or... a sauce for fish or sauce for grilled chicken...or simply as a vegetarian ragu on cous cous or rice.

1 fennel bulb diced

1 onion diced

4 garlic sliced

home made pasta sauce (see here or your favorite store bought one!)

white whine



olive oil



fresh tarragon

sauté onion, fennel and garlic with olive oil until golden ( season with salt)

add white wine, about half a cup or a little more!

simmer for about 2 minutes

add pasta sauce, about 1 litre

add capers ( season)

add fresh tarragon chopped

grill your salmon and pour sauce on top. simply delicious!

Roasted Fennel and Cauliflower Soup


1 head cauliflower, remove core, break into florets
1 fennel bulb, white part only, trimmed and cut into chunks
6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
olive oil
unsalted butter
6 cups of water or broth

2 Rosemary sprigs

chilli flakes(for heat)

For Garnish

Real bacon

dried cranberries and or toasted almonds

Garlic Croutons.

2 waxy potatoes scrubbed and chunked (I never peel them for soup)

heavy cream, milk, half n half or unsweetened soy milk (about a cup)
salt and pepper

Place cauliflower, fennel, and garlic in roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375º for about 45 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.

Peel garlic and then transfer squeezed garlic and veggies to soup pot and saute in olive oil and a little butter for about 10 minutes.

Add water or broth and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft skimming any foam as needed. Puree then add cream or more broth, or water, to taste until soup is silky. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.4

1 comment:

  1. wooooow! I LOVE fennel -finocchio- thanks to my beloved Dad, this is the spice that gives the differential flavor to pizza. On my recent trip to Italy I went to a little deli store in Firenze just to get a bottle of dried fennel.

    I recently tried it fresh in a salad, it was fennel, onion and orange.. and it was delicious! I will definitely try yours.