One of the vegetables I have not used very often is fennel. It is a beautiful thing, both as a plant, and the bulb you can buy in any supermarket. Why has it taken me so long to appreciate it? Maybe I did not prepare it well… Heaven knows that even at 70, I am still learning new things. One of the great things about retirement is having the time to try new things and to have a bit more time to do some research. I love research.
The recipe I found was in a wad of photocopies I did several years ago. I have no idea what the cookbook was. But I photocopied about 20 pages of it, and then forgot about it completely. Here is the recipe:
Fennel & Orange Salad
2 large heads fennel (about 1 ½ lbs)
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs grated orange peel
1 tsp anise seeds
4 large oranges
seeds from 1 pomegranate
1. Trim stems from fennel, reserving the feathery green leaves. Trim and discard any bruised areas from fennel then cut each fennel head into thin slivers. Placed slivered fennel in a large bowl.
2. Finely chop enough of the fennel leaves to make 1 tbs (reserve remaining leaves); add to bowl along with vinegar, oil, orange peel, and anise seeds. Mix well.
3. Cut off and discard peel and all white membranes from oranges. Cut fruit crosswise into slices about ¼ inch thick; discard seeds.
4. Divide fennel mixture among individual plates. Arrange oranges alongside fennel mixture; sprinkle salads equally with pomegranate seeds. Garnish with reserved fennel leaves. Season to taste with salt.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Nutrition (per serving): 68 calories, 3 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2.5mg sodium, 333.4mg potassium, 20.1g carbohydrates, 3.9g fiber, 11.5g sugar, 1.5g protein.
This is a photo of the result. I did not do individual plate arrangements as suggested. I just tossed it, and of course all the pomegranate seeds went to the bottom of the bowl. So take the time to plate it. It will look a lot better.
I am not a vegetarian by any means, but this is actually a vegan dish, and will do quite nicely as a light dinner, especially when lunch is the main meal of the day.
© Roger H. Boulet, 2015