Fried fennel

I bought some fennel with the intent of making a fennel and blood orange salad, but decided to try something new instead. This dish is a bit like eating fried onions, but with a mild anise flavour.

fried fennel

fried fennel

Fried fennel
Adapted from a recipe by French Food at Home with Laura Calder

Ingredients
A fennel bulb
salt and pepper
At least 2 tbsp of olive oil

Directions
Clean and trim the fennel bulb. Cut into slices approximately 1/2 centimetre thick. If you slice the fennel horizontally starting at the tip or the end, the pieces will separate a bit like onion rings. If you cut it length-wise they will hold together more like oval slices.

Season the sliced fennel with salt and pepper. Heat your olive oil in a pan and fry both sides of each fennel piece until the fennel is tender and starts to caramelize. They take longer to cook than onions, so be patient.

Fennel and blood orange salad

I have a confession to make. I am a subscriber of Gwyneth Paltrow’s oddly named GOOP e-newsletter. Now in my defence, it’s not because I love her acting or anything (she’s okay but not my favourite). I actually signed up for the entertainment factor because I’m easily amused by her Martha/Oprah wanna-be efforts.

So here’s another confession – on Saturday I made one of the newsletter’s recipes, based on a Mario Batali dish. And it was really good! This recipe lets me use two ingredients I’ve never cooked or baked with before – blood oranges and fennel.

I picked up a bag of blood oranges during my Costco trip from the previous weekend and immediately started searching my cookbooks and saved recipes for something good to make. A quick trip to the grocery store last night netted me some fresh fennel. This salad is crisp and clean tasting, and is a refreshing change from regular salads. It’s probably not the cheapest salad to make, although I guess you could substitute the blood oranges for regular navel oranges or maybe even mandarin oranges.

Fennel and blood orange salad

Fennel and blood orange salad

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