I love fennel. I've been so happy to start seeing it show up in my CSA box and at the farmer's market. Last week I grabbed several small fennel bulbs at the farmer's market, with no real plan of what I wanted to do with them. I also started my fennel seeds for the garden. I can't wait till I'm growing my own fennel!
I've eaten a lot of fennel this past week. First I tossed together a super simple, fresh and tasty salad. I used my mandolin to thinly slice one fennel bulb and then I tossed in a strainer and thoroughly washed it (the fennel was dirty!). I julienned some raw celeriac I also found at the farmer's market and tossed that together. To add some color I chopped some cilantro and the fennel fronds to go in the salad. I simply dressed the salad with some hazelnut oil, the juice and zest of a very small lemon, a touch of local honey, salt and fresh ground pepper. Not my prettiest salad, but it was so good and so easy.
I've roasted a lot of fennel, it's one of my ingredients to add to a roasted root veggie dish, but I've never sauteed fennel. The other night I chopped some red spring onions and sauteed in walnut oil and then added my mandolined, extra scrubbed fennel and caramelized. I added in the greens from the spring onions, salt and pepper, a little bit of lemon juice and after I served it I topped with some fennel fronds and lemon zest. Great side to go along with the local Italian sausage I got in my CSA and some delicious ravioli. Yum!
If you can get your hands on some fennel, do it! Roasted, raw, sauteed, it's all good.