ISO Fennel Recipes...
Someone gave us a fennel bulb this year, and we grew it with much success. Unfortunately, I've never been a big fennel fan, so I have no idea what to do with it. I'm willing to consider pretty much anything...Any ideas? (FYI: I did have mussels in a white wine broth with shaved fennel at a restaurant, and thought it was divine, so I CAN like it).
Also, once pulled, how long will the fennel keep, and must I use it all at once?
I thought for years that I didn't like fennel, but it turns out I just don't like raw fennel -- cooked (especially roasted) it's great! My favorite way is to cut it into wedges, leaving enough of the bottom to hold each wedge together (having cut off and discarded the stalks and fronds), then add cherry tomatoes, black olives, roughly chopped garlic, fresh thyme (or could use oregano or marjoram if that's what you have), olive oil, S&P, and a bit of dry vermouth or white wine if you have it, and roast at 425 for about 30 to 45 minutes unitl very tender. Yum!
GretchenS is right about roasting fennel...it's yummy that way! But I do it a little differently... more au gratin style...with bechamel sauce, a sprinkle of nutmeg, grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese & bread crumbs over the top.
Or you could chop some up raw & throw it in a salad with peeled oranges & grapefruits, salad greens, and olives.
I've kept fennel bulbs in the fridge for about 2 weeks & were still ok....but I really dont know how long they keep, and I really don't like to keep fresh veggies in the fridge for so long...usually I use them up much sooner.
Crockpot Chicken with Fennel
By putting the bulb of the fennel inside the cavity of the chicken adds a black licorice taste to the meat.
3 lb. whole roasting chicken
1 small fennel bulb and 1/4 cup leaves
1 lb. baby carrots
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 qt. chicken broth to cover
Remove giblets and discard or freeze for another use. Rinse chicken and remove skin if you wish. Place in the crockpot. Wash the fennel, leaving the bulb whole and mincing the leaves. Place the fennel bulb inside the cavity of chicken. Sprinkle the leaves around the chicken. Chop leeks and carrots and add to the crockpot. Add the broth to cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, then cool in fridge. Once cool, skim off all fat and remove chicken from bones. Chop the fennel bulb and add back into the pot. Put meat back in crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve over noodles or biscuits if desired.
re: Chew on That
I use fennel in Greek salad. I use only a very small amount of one and admit I just toss the rest. But it does add just the right snappy zing to the Greek salad. The way I use it is to add a small amount of shaved fennel in with the greens (romaine lettuce.) I can post a good Greek salad recipe later tonight:-)
Thanks so much for the suggestions! I'm going to try a tiny bit raw in my greek salad tonight, but I have a feeling that's the flavor I don't like, so I'm definitely going to roast the rest. GretchenS, it sounds fantastic. Do you serve it with some crusty bread? Wow...I'm actually excited about fennel now!
Another nice salad is to slice the fennel extremely thin (I use a mandoline), toss with some black olives, orange sections (blood oranges are best in season, but navels will do), optional thin slices of red onion, a little extra-virgin olive oil, possibly some of the orange juice from the remaining sectioned orange, S & P, garnish with the fennel fronds. Very refreshing.
It is also wonderful in soups. You can make an onion and fennel soup that only has the slightest taste of the fennel (if you want something that masks that flavor), or you can try something that shows it off. I love the stuff ... wish I had your bonanza of it!