I have never been a fan of fennel. Until now. It’s growing like gangbusters in the garden, and my higher consciousness/ mature mind makes me want to tackle my phobia of all things that taste of aniseed (uggh. such angelic thoughts provoke the immediate rebellion of something naughty, but I will persevere). I really had to get my head around what to do with such a beautiful creature. I thought of grilling and singeing (that’s singe. Not sing. Just in case.), but we’ve visited the grill pan s few times before. My quest was to bring out the subtlety of flavor, and quick, so I would want to revisit the recipe again and again. Yup, I did it. Much to my husband’s surprise , I ate it three times last week (“again??”). Each time I thought how delicious it was, and the flavor was so tender and delicate.
I can already hear a few of you thinking: “God, but that picture? Don’t ‘cha wanna garnish it with anything? Maybe a few multicolored chocolate sprinkles to jazz it up??” Well, I feel you, and I agree that it is bordering on Bauhaus, but that is the point entirely. This side dish is beautifully minimal. It is a delicacy on its own, seasoned with just sea salt and cracked pepper, then drizzled in virgin olive oil. Shockingly simple, and superb….if I do say so myself. Just remember, I’m not a fan of Fennel United, so it might inspire you to give it a try.
I shall now take you on a visual tour:
Ah, the virgin maiden, fresh in the garden.
After picking and rinsing, the root must be sliced away.
Now off with her head says the queen (what a jealous cow).
Slice lengthways, about a 1/2 inch thick. Aren’t the lines beautiful? And, oh the eating. Just you wait.
Take a saucepan, pour in enough filtered water and 4 tablespoons of olive oil to cover just above the fennel.
3 large fennel bulbs
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1. Cut the fennel tops and root where it meets the bulb and discard them. Discard any outer parts that are bruised or brown. Slice lengthways into slices 1/2 inch thick. Rinse in cold filtered water.
2. Put the slices of fennel into a pan, adding enough water to cover. turn the heat up to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes. Try 10 minutes on each side, then check if extra time is needed. It should be tender, and not too soft. Add a bit of water if the water starts to dry. When the desired tenderness is reached, season with sea salt and cracked pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
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