Fennel

Ahhhh fennel- the hardy, perennial herb with feathery leaves and beautiful yellow flowers is one of my all-time favorite veggies. It’s crunchy texture and anise-like sweet aroma adds a delightful pop of flavor to any dish.


Fennel has a long ancient history, too!

And get this- you can utilize every piece of it in your kitchen! The bulb, stalk, leaves, AND seeds are all edible. I like to shave the bulb very thin and toss it in with winter salad greens- like in my Baby Arugula, Orange, and Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp and White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Just be sure to remove the hard core in the center of the bulb before slicing! But don’t throw it away- instead toss it into the pot next time you make a homemade stock. A d’lish product with zero waste- that’s what I’m talking about!

In Seattle, fennel grows wild in many of our neighborhoods like Ballard. I love looking out my office window at the billowing plumes of fennel poking their way through the concrete.


The view outside my office window!

Right now the hearty stalks are topped with seeds, ready for picking! Just dry at room temperature, toast them up, and add to seasonings, sauces or soups – yum!
-Kathy

Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Shrimp
1 tablespoon undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced orange zest
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds
1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted and crushed
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds large raw shrimp (32 to 40)

Salad
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
6 oranges or tangerines
6 cups baby arugula
2 heads baby frisée, torn, rinsed and spun dry
White Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

To marinate the shrimp, whisk all the ingredients, except the shrimp, in a large bowl. Peel, devein, and remove tails of the shrimp then add them to the marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

To prepare the salad, finely shave the fennel bulbs with a sharp knife or a mandolin and crisp in ice water for 10 minutes. Spin dry before using. Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away all the white pith then cut the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Flick out any seeds. (If prepared ahead, refrigerate the fennel and orange slices separately, for up to 2 hours.)

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Grill the shrimp until just pink and done, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, toss the arugula, frisée, fennel, and oranges with enough of the vinaigrette to coat nicely—taste for flavor, adding more dressing if needed.

Serve the salad on a large platter or divide among individual plates, arrange the shrimp on top, and drizzle with a little extra dressing, if desired.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or 1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and juice concentrate. Whisk in the pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste, and fennel seed. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Stir in the fennel fronds. If made ahead, refrigerate until shortly before needed, then rewhisk before using.

Chef’s Note: The vinaigrette keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table

Posted by Kathy on November 2nd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

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