I used to hate fennel! But a friend of ours came to stay with us many years back when I was pregnant with one of the little people, I can’t remember who, and introduced me to raw fennel. It actually has a less anise flavor than cooked. I have learned to really love cooked fennel and I have been trying to recreate a baked fennel dish I had in North Carolina, but I can’t seem to get it right so stay tuned…
The recipe below, if you can call it a recipe, is light, crisp and pairs perfect with that bottle of wine that is so necessary at the end of the day. I don’t think I would sit down to a bowl of this, but it is really good as a side dish. And bonus it has practically NO calories. Don’t be afraid of that funky looking vegetable in the grocery-give it a try.
Fennel with Lemon Salad
4-6 Side Servings
1 Fennel bulb
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large lemon, juiced
When you get home with the ginormous fennel bulb, cut the fronds off (the green stalks growing out of the bulb). But save some of the leafy fronds for garnish.
Remove all the brown layers and cut just the very tip of the root off. I like the core, but some people prefer to cut it out.
Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and cut the bulb into very thin slices. Throw into a small bowl. Add garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil.
Mix thoroughly and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to two days. Garnish with fronds.
* A couple notes:
1- Use a small garlic clove, since it is raw you do not want to overpower the dish.
2- You might need to add more lemon juice or oil depending on how big the fennel bulb is.