I am in heaven. I love fennel. In fact, I wish I had the wherewithal to eat fennel bulbs like apples; perhaps a 2008 New Year resolution?
Instead of eating them raw in my paws, I am finding creative ways to insert them into lunches… dinners… even breakfast.
This post is about ‘what to do when you have 2 fennel bulbs’ because there have been times when I had 2… and they went to waste based solely on my lack of inspiration. Fennel be saved: I now have some quick defaults for fennel: a bonafide back door to inspiration. All you need are
2 fennel bulbs, a few Tablespoons (or ‘gluggs’ of olive oil—that is how my kids and I measure olive oil amounts: “mom, how many gluggs of olive oil?”), and a large pinch of kosher/coarse salt. The last time I roasted fennel, I added a few Tablespoons of diced prosciutto. What? I couldn’t help it:
2 fennel bulbs (stalks and stems removed)
3 T olive oil
1 large pinch kosher salt
optional: a couple grinds coarse pepper
Heat oven to 400. Slice fennel into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Lube with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes.
Now, if you are getting a tad more creative, and plan ahead with a slightly longer list of ingredients, you can make French Fennel Onion Soup or Potato Fennel Gratin. Both are well worth the effort. Yum.
I don’t know what it is about me and making food taste like ‘candy,’ but for some reason, while I am in the middle of consuming—usually some variation of roasted vegetable—I think of candy. Not candy from the candy shop, necessarily, nor the overwhelm of eye candy that I experience each time at the Farmer’s Market, but rather food candy, veggie candy, or simply the amazing sweetness of nature that is meant to mesmerize us.
Fennel does that to me. I look forward to a bite of fennel the way my kids look forward to a bite of candy. I loved it roasted; and tonight I tried it sauteed and it was equally to die for. And for our family of four, this was just one fennel bulb, 3 small parsnips and a T each of olive oil and butter. Peel parsnips, then mandolin both parsnips and fennel. Toss into skillet with olive oil and butter, sautee over medium low for 10-15 minutes until caramelized. Add big pinch of kosher salt and coarse pepper. Serve.
Simple is good.
More great input on fennel: