I planted some fennel this year. I’d probably only ever eaten it a handful of times, but we had a little space, so what the heck? Fennel has a moderate anise (licorice) smell and flavor, which I’ve never really been a fan of, but which I’ve gotten a little more used to. Used to enough to warrant planting, I guess. That, or I just have a strange addiction to planting thing that I’ve never tried.
So, summer came and went (we miss you, Summer, come back soon), and I picked some of the fennel seeds (can you say homemade sausage?), but the bulbs were still out in the garden. And actually still are, mostly… But when thinking of dinner ideas the other day, I thought of a salad we’d had at Crop, which incorporated a bunch of thinly sliced vegetables. Fennel, radish, apple, beet – check, check, check, and check. Add in some of our nice fresh greens from out back, and we had a winner.
Everyone can make a salad, so I’m not going to bother with ingredient lists and instructions and all that mumbo-jumbo. We took a small fennel bulb, half of a daikon radish, one beet, and half an apple, sliced them paper-thin (this is SOOOO much easier than using a knife), nestled them gently on their bed of greens, then topped the whole thing off with some crazy-good pumpkin cheddar that we picked up from the market. Seasonal, fresh, and full of flavor. And really, if you’re afraid of the licorice flavor like me, don’t be – it’s really quite mild, and actually adds a little sweetness.
kristin @ going country says
We grew fennel one year a long time ago, and I recall my mother-in-law making a gratin with it that was really good. I think it was just thinly sliced fennel baked with a white sauce and parmesan cheese. The details are hazy, but I do remember liking it a lot.