by Cory Schreiber
from Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest
(Ten Speed Press, 2000)
A first encounter with a fennel bulb usually involves a look of consternation and the question, “What do I do with that?” If you smell this mysterious little vegetable, you’ll quickly notice the familiar scent of licorice. The fennel bulb, though small, can be packed with flavor. Many cooks like to mellow the taste by slowly braising the fennel in milk. I prefer a more pronounced flavor and often serve it raw or lightly cooked.
This recipe is perfect for anyone who delights in the anise flavor of fennel. I thinly slice the bulb with a sharp knife or a mandoline, then toss the slices with lettuce, radish, raw carrot, and red onion. The mixture is then marinated in a vinaigrette accented with toasted fennel seeds before serving.—Cory Schreiber
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fennel greens
4 or 5 radishes, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly diced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups (8 ounces) mixed baby greens
1. Place the fennel seeds in a dry skillet and toast them over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally until they begin to darken in color. Pour the seeds onto a plate and let cool. Then with the wide side of large knife press down on the seeds to crack them. Gather and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the fennel seeds, oil, vinegar, and fennel greens; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced radishes, sliced fennel, onion, and carrot. Toss with the vinaigrette and marinate for 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
4. To serve, toss together the greens and marinated vegetables in a large bowl and distribute onto 4 plates.
Recipe © 2000 Corey Schreiber. All rights reserved.