Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flavor of the Week: Fennel

Fennel Facts
  • Fennel is often mistakenly called anise.  Fennel has a milder, licorice flavor than anise.
  • Fennel is used to flavor many liqueurs 
  • Fennel is rich in vitamin A
  • Fennel is in the same species as cumin, parsley and caraway
  • Fennel seed is used as a digestive
  • Fennel pairs well with beef, beets, breads, carrots, celery, cheese, chicken, corn, cucumbers, eggs, meatloaf, onions, pasta, peas, pork, potatoes, rice, salads, salmon, seafood, squash, tomatoes, turkey
  • The ancient Greeks used fennel seeds as an appetite suppressant

  • Florence fennel or finocchio, is the broad, bulbous based plant used as a vegetable.  Base and stem can be used raw as in salads or braised, sauteed or grilled.  The feathery greens can be used as a garnish as you would use dill.  
  • Common fennel is the source of fennel seeds used in cooking.  The common fennel plant is totally edible but is bulbless
Using finocchio fennel
Substitute fennel for celery
Roast fennel along with root vegetables
Grill fennel as a side dish with fish
Pair raw fennel with oranges and onions in a salad

Using fennel seeds
Toast seeds and crush with other aromatics and use as a rub on fish or pork
Add to whole grain breads
Pairs well with carrot
Often used in Indian and Mediterranean cuisines 
Common ingredient in sausage

Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Fennel Wedges
My dear friend, Cyndy, shared this Epicurious recipe with me.  Fennel is a natural with pork and this recipe uses both fennel seeds and fresh, gnocchi fennel.  
Crushing fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle releases the aromatics for a fragrant pork rub.
Sauteing fresh fennel sweetens will sweeten its flavor.
Top the sauteed fennel with the crispy, crusted pork tenderloin and roast all in the oven for 15 minutes.
Slice the pork.  Toss chopped fennel frond in with the sauteed fennel. 
Plate it and then savor the delectable pairing of fennel and pork.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments. I love to hear from readers of Spiral Style


Blog Widget by LinkWithin