4 cups sliced fennel bulb
3 Tbls. olive oil, divided
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
½ tsp. salt, divided
¼ tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbls. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
2 (15.8 oz) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fresh baby spinach (any greens will do, I used beets tops and chard)
- Preheat oven to 450°
- Combine fennel, 1 Tbls. oil, ½ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. salt, red pepper, and garlic in a large bowl; toss to coat fennel. Arrange fennel mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until fennel begins to brown. Stir; sprinkle cheese evenly over fennel mixture. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until heated. Add fennel mixture, spinach, the remaining ¼ tsp. black pepper, and remaining ¼ tsp. salt. Cook 2 minutes or until greens are cooked; serve immediately.
It’s merits and uses:
Most folks have an odd aversion to this wonderful vegetable. I’ve discovered that it takes on a completely new personality when cooked at a slow temperature for a long time. Just as you might caramelize onions over a low flame for 20 minutes; the same can be done with fennel. I figured Martha Stewart might be a good one for fennel recipes and I was right – here’s a couple that I found that sound delicious. Eaten raw they are equally delicious with their anise like flavor. Try decorating a green salad with them along with raw slices of Fuyu persimmons, segments of satsuma mandarins with a sprinkling of green onions.
Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Boil 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and split lengthwise, until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain fennel, cut side down, on paper towels, 5 minutes. Place fennel, cut side up, in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish and brush with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and top with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan and 4 sprigs thyme. Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Pan Seared Fennel in Citrus White Sauce
- 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed (1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
With a large knife, cut each fennel bulb lengthwise into four slices. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until sizzling. Lay fennel slices in skillet; cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Pour orange juice over fennel; season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until fennel is tender, about 15 minutes. Add wine, and continue cooking until fennel is very tender and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, as desired, and serve warm.