Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fennel: What's For Dinner

Picture sourced from: Johnson's Back Yard Garden

Last night I made a dinner that used fennel in two dishes, Iron Chef style. There were fennel seeds in the sweet Italian sausage and I used a small fennel bulb two play two parts in the meal. Half the bulb went into a Cannellini bean and sausage dish from Mark Bittman's Food Matter's Cook Book and the rest went into a salad conjured from my imagination.

The flavors of the main dish were hearty and simple. The sausage was broken up and browned; to this, I added, per the recipe, garlic and red crushed peppers. Then I added the greens with the zest, and lastly the beans. I loved how everything played together. The beans were silky and mild against the liquorish crunch of the fennel. The dish was rounded out with the less assertive, Brussels sprouts,which were tender, but still firm, creating a nice foil to the beans. The sausage speckled the dish with a little decadence. It was all very nice. I was proud that the addition of the fennel and lemon zest really worked with the recipe.

To complement the main course, I threw a salad together.

What I used:

half of a small bulb of fennel, slivered
a sliced apple
olive oil
lemon juice
black pepper (I would have preferred white pepper)
sea salt
Parmesan cheese, shaved
dry dill, a dash

Put fennel and apple slices in bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice, dust with seasoning, including dill. add a judicious amount of olive oil, only to barely coat. Mix with hands gently. Serve on plate and dot with olive oil and shave the cheese over the salad. Yum!!!!!

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