Fennel with Lemon/Caper Dressing
Fennel, native to the Mediterranean region, is a perennial herb that belongs to the carrot family. I love its licorice-like flavor and eat it often boiled, silky and toothsome with a warm lemon/caper dressing (recipe below) or crunchy and sweet when thinly sliced and tossed raw into a salad.
Fennel is really healthy and super high in dietary fiber, potassium and vitamins. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds are edible and add flavor to most foods.
The fennel can take the place of celery in soups and stews. It can be braised, sautéed, roasted or grilled and used as a “bed” with sliced onions for cooked fish, chicken or meats. When it comes to the fennel fronds, that look a bit like dill, use them as you would any other herb.
If you don’t use this versatile veggie already, I sure hope you’ll give it a try. Now is the perfect time as its peak season is from late fall to early spring!
Fennel with warm Lemon Caper Dressing
2 medium sized fennels (or if you prefer 4 small ones)
4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
¼ cup lemon peel, thinly sliced
¼ cup vegetable broth or stock (optional)
4 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
2 tblsp capers
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
Clean fennel and boil in water with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.
In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil and add the lemon peel. Cook peel for about ½ minute and then add the vegetable broth (optional), lemon juice, capers and mix.
Cut the fennel in half or quarters, season with pepper and place on a serving dish or individual plates. Spoon warm dressing over the fennel and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 - 4 servings
The cooking time of the fennel will depend on the size of the fennel and your personal taste. I usually boil medium sized fennel for about 10 - 12 minutes or until it starts looking a bit translucent.
If you like, boil the fennel in advance and once cooled, store in fridge until ready to use. Before serving, slice it and finish the cooking directly in the lemon caper sauce together with sliced lemon peel. Adjust cooking times accordingly!
©KaritasM - November 2019
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