Saturday, October 8, 2011

What to do with a fresh fennel bulb

The fall/winter season has begun for my CSA (community-supported agriculture) share.  Every other week I get a big load of fresh vegetables, a little different every time, so I never know for sure what's coming.  This week, the share included cutting celery, collard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage, a mix of Asian greens, radish greens, leeks, sage, parlsey, garlic chives, and a big white fennel bulb.

Now, I know what to do with most of that stuff, but I've never cooked fennel before, and this beautiful bulb looked like it deserved good treatment.  So, I looked through all the cookbooks I thought might mention fennel--this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, too.  Finally, I took everything I read and mixed it all together, discarded most of it, and came up with this very simple recipe which was so mouth-wateringly delicious that I'm sorry I only had one bulb.  Here's what I did:

Trim the stalk and leaves off the fennel bulb, setting aside some of the freshest of the leaves for garnish.  Cut off the bottom, cut out the hard core at the bottom, and peel off any tough outer leaves.  Very thinly slice the fennel.

Heat 1 tablespoon Earth Balance over medium heat in a skillet (it sounds like a lot for one serving, but it's worth it).  Add the fennel.  Saute for about five minutes, then cover the skillet and let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Uncover, season with salt, and continue to saute about five minutes more, or until some of the fennel pieces are golden-brown and crispy.  Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over everything, stir to cover everything in lemon juice, and serve garnished with fennel leaves.

This made one really delicious serving, so if you want to make this for more people, I would allow about one bulb per person.

1 comment:

  1. Your fennel pictures are beautiful, and your simple prep sounds so good! I love fresh fennel, but I can't recall ever eating it alone like that, so thanks for sharing your idea!