Fennel is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves (called fonds). It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb, with a bulb that is often used as a vegetable. It has a licorice taste, similar to anise. This recipe highlights fennel as a fine side dish all on its own.
According to ehow.com, here is how to trim and prep fennel:
- Rinse the fennel under cold, running water and place it on the cutting board.
- Cut the stems off with the knife. Unless your bulb of fennel is unusually large, you can cut off all the stems at once, with one sweeping motion.
- Discard the stems and fronds or save them for decorating your finished dish or using in soups.
- Cut off the base. This will be slightly more difficult than cutting through the stems. Be firm, but don’t force the blade through. Don’t cut too high into the bulb, or you’ll make it more difficult to cut the bulb later for cooking.
- If you dislike the slightly stringy texture of the outer layers of your fennel bulb, you can trim it further using a vegetable peeler.
Recipe: Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme
3 fennel bulbs
1 tsp. softened butter
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
4 sprigs thyme
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Boil 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and split lengthwise, until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain fennel, cut side down, on paper towels, for about 5 minutes.
- Place fennel, cut side up, in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish and brush with 1 tablespoon softened butter.
- Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and top with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan and 4 sprigs thyme.
- Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
- I added a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 6 servings
http://www.marthastewart.com, originally published in Everyday Food, March 2010