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Fennel Ideas Wanted

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Bought a nice looking bulb of fennel a few days ago, and, when eaten raw in a salad, the taste was far too intense for me. I've had fennel before that wasn't so intense, both raw and cooked. Any suggestions for preparation that will reduce the intemsity?

scb
post #2 of 12
Try shaving or chopping as you normally would, then blanch it in simmering water, Shel. That should do the trick.

Fennel is usually nonaffordible around here, with bulbs pushing the five dollar mark. But a local market had them, today, at a buck 40. So I bought six.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I figured that blanching might be the way to go, but I don't want to over-blanch. Just a couple of minutes? Thanks!

Good score on the fennel bulbs :lips:

scb
post #4 of 12
when you find a fennel that's too strong, it's probably because it's old (not sitting on the shelf old, but grown too long). Look for smooth outside leaves or whatever you call them, stalks? If there are noticeable ribs they are usually strong.

In that case, you can make a gratin of fennel, you blanch them till almost tender, slice and lay in a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with parmigiano and butter, salt and pepper and bake till the cheese is melted and slightly browned in points.
Or you can mix with bechamel and parmigiano, a little nutmeg, and bake with bread crumbs on top.

I also make an amazing fennel soup, sauteeing onions or leeks and fennel slices in butter till the onion is soft, add broth and cook till tender, puree and add milk or cream, cook a little more and serve. It makes your mouth water, an incredible taste stimulant.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
A variation on the fennel soupl sounds darned good. Thanks! And thanks for the tip on how to tell if fennel may be old or strong. I'll be looking for younger fennel from now on.

scb
post #6 of 12
Slow roasting fennel, covered, in a little olive oil seems to help mellow the flavor and intensify the sweetness.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Gracias!

scb
post #8 of 12
sounds good, i'll try it
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #9 of 12
this is an amzing recipe with braised fennel!!
I actually had a surplus of fennel several years ago and remembered that it is sometimes used in recipes calling for endive--took and chance and wow is it good.

I made this one with swordfish and again with mahi mahi. The second time I doubled the fennel, since the first time it was gone before the fish was. I am planning other dishes with this as a side?

I am posting link rather than c&p so you can read the reviews too--

Swordfish with Braised Endive Recipe at Epicurious.com

enjoy,
Nan
post #10 of 12
I think raw fennel is best when shaved really thin. Once you shaved it on your mandolin dunk it in an ice bath momentarily to retain crispness and then spin it to get rid of the excess water. (lots of gizmos for a simple salad haha.)

To counter the sweetness I toss in black kalamata olives or proscuitto ribbons. Freshly chopped parsley, toss in the fennel fronds too, a good evoo, lots of lemon juice, and salt. It's quite a refreshing salad.

I like to wash, dry, and then freeze the fennel fronds and I always drop them in soups.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nan, Mapiva ...

shel
post #12 of 12
Last night I made Grilled Lamb Chops with Salsa de Pasitas Rojas and Fennel Salad, from the CIA's new Spain and The World Table. If you're still looking for fennel ideas, Shel, the salad part wasn't bad:

4 large fennel bulbs, green tops removed
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and slivered
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise. Slice the thick core off of each bulb. Remove any tough outer leaves. Slice the bulbs vertically into 1/4-inch shards. In a medium bowl mix the black olives, the olive oil, and the lemon juice. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the fennel shards and toss to coat lightly.

Note: As written the salad serves 8. We cut it in half, and it was still enough for six servings. So keep that in mind.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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