» Fennel

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: What to do with an Entire Celery. . .

Is that head of celery from a fortnight ago still lurking in the back of your fridge? Here is what to do with it.

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
200g onions
200g potatoes, peeled or not, as you prefer
200g fennel
400g celery
40g butter
1 litre water or stock
150ml Greek or full-fat yoghurt, or single cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Reserved fennel fronds, minced, for garnish
A handful of rocket, dandelion greens or watercress, finely shredded, for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Chop all the vegetables roughly. Reserve any of the soft fronds from the fennel to use as a garnish.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a pan with a lid. Once it has melted add the vegetables and turn to coat in the butter. Put the lid on the pan and leave the vegetables to sweat and soften for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock or water, bring slowly to a simmer, and leave to cook over low heat for another 20-30 minutes.

Liquidise the soup. Stir in the yoghurt or cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Celery is surprisingly salty, so you may not need salt at all.

Serve garnished with the reserved fennel fronds and optional greens.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Fish Dinner

Grilled mackerel with cucumber-fennel relish, boiled potatoes, and, perhaps some steamed fresh spinach: between two people you can have this on the table in 25 minutes from turning on the grill. It makes a lovely Saturday night supper. Grill the fish whole for 8-12 minutes per side.

The relish or salsa has a crisp, assertive sharpness that contrasts well with the rich oiliness of the mackerel. It would be good with grilled trout, as well. The recipe makes enough for four generous servings. The key is to cut the vegetable into very small pieces; it’s this that gives its charm. ‘Dicing’ is cutting into cubes—but you can also simply chop the cucumber and fennel very fine, if producing tiny cubes seems too fiddly.

Cucumber-Fennel Relish

Ingredients
1 cucumber, cut into 3mm dice
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 3mm dice
¾ cup chopped fresh dill
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon Demerara sugar
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Preparation
Combine all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, sugar or vinegar/lemon juice if you wish—this should be quite sharp.

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: Fennel and Parmesan Salad

‘This is an instant favorite of anyone who tries it’, writes chef Christopher Boswell. The delicate fennel combines with the tang of the Parmesan to create a very satisfying and subtle little salad.

Crudo di Finocchio con Limome, Prezzemolo e Scaglie di Parmigiano
(Shaved Fennel with Lemon Juice, Parsley & Parmesan)

Note that you do not toss the ingredients together. Instead you layer them directly onto the serving platter.
This might serve 4 as part of a larger meal.

Ingredients
3 Canalside fennel bulbs or 2 large ones
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon
60ml really good olive oil—such as that special oil from La Jimena
15 parsley sprigs
30g chunk of Parmesan or Pecorino

Preparation
Cut the bottom off the fennel and then slice off the top, leaving just the bulbous body. This is the bit you need for this salad but you can keep the wispy fronds to garnish some other salad if you like. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise. Remove any tough outer leaves and leave it to soak in lots of water for half an hour, to remove any residual earth.

Drain the fennel and then slice it into the thinnest strips that you can produce. Apparently a mandoline is ideal. Opinions differ as to whether you should slice it longitudinally or horizontally. I don’t know that it makes much difference. The key thing is to get it super thin.

Spread the fennel out on a platter and season it with salt and pepper.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice all over the fennel.

Drizzle the olive oil back and forth across the dish.

Remove the leaves from the parsley and scatter them artfully over the fennel.

Finally, using a vegetable parer, shave the cheese into thin wisps over the assemblage. Serve immediately.

(Adapted from Christopher Boswell, Verdure: Vegetable Recipes from the American Academy in Rome (2014).)

highslide for wordpress
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com