3/4/13

eat your veggies: fennel


We all know we should eat more vegetables but to be honest, there are some vegetables that I am entirely unfamiliar with-- or at least unfamiliar with how to cook them.

As I've mentioned often, I'm an experimental cook and love to try making new things so for the next few weeks, I'm going to experiment with vegetables-- trying to make dishes out of vegetables I've eaten many times, and those I've rarely touched.

I hope you join me on this kitchen journey and I would love to hear from you what vegetables I should try cooking next. I'm honestly up for anything that falls in the "veggie" category.


First up: fennel.


I've had it before but I've never cooked with it.

Fennel has a light, delicate sweet flavor with a touch of anise (licorice). You can slice it thin for a salad, or you can roast it to bring out its flavor. I decided to roast it and pair it with mint, lemon and almond couscous.


ingredients:
- 2 fennel bulbs -- soaked and sliced into bite size pieces. You need to soak it because some of the dirt can get into the layers-- don't soak for long, just a minute or two should work. Slice just the white bulb of the fennel, leaving the stalks and fronds aside.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
- 1 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbs lemon zest
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 cup prepared plain couscous
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt

Toss the fennel with olive oil and roast in a dish at 350 for 30 minutes. You may need more or less time depending on your oven. The fennel should be soft, but not overly browned.

In the meantime, cook the couscous according to package directions (generally 1 cup couscous to 1 1/4 cup water.)

Heat a pan on low, and toast the almonds until slightly fragrant and brown. (Be careful not to burn!)

In a small bowl, create the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, zest, red wine vinegar, black pepper and salt.

When the fennel is done, mix with couscous, almonds and torn mint leaves. Top with the lemon dressing. Serve warm (but it's also delicious cold!)


Top the couscous with a few fennel fronds. Enjoy!
xo, erika

what vegetable shall I tackle next?






7 comments

  1. I have never cooked with fennel, probably because I don't love fennel seeds. But I should try. This recipe looks yummy-- I do love couscous!

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  2. Oh, I just LOVE fennel! It's so good for you, too. This looks delicious.

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  3. That looks so healthy & nice. Not sure that I`ve ever tried fennel before!

    Some Snapshots Blog
    Jess

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  4. Looks tasty! I've never cooked with fennel.

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  5. Looks delicious! I've never tasted fennel.

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  6. gorgeous!! i need to try fennel now, although i know for a fact that my hubby will not go for it. i on the other hand love pretty much all veggies!

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  7. this looks so good - and healthy...perfect for spring!

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