Fennel Recipes

Apple Beet Compote

3 red beets
3 golden beets
1 fennel bulb
2 large apples
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Clean and peel beets then cut into small chunks
Mix each color separately with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and place into roasting pan.
Cut fennel bulb into the same size pieces and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper, then place in roasting pan with beets.
Place the roasting pan into the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until beets are soft*
While beets are roasting, peel and cut the apples into bite-size pieces and place them in a sauté pan with 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Sauté apples for 5 minutes just to soften them up some, set aside.
In another sauté pan add one tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of brown sugar and mix well.
Add the walnuts and over medium heat.  coat the walnuts with the brown sugar mixture* tossing to get them completely coated.
Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on parchment or a plate to allow the sugar to set.
When the beets are done, gently mix your compote together and serve warm.

Greek Fennel Skillet

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, julienned
1 large onion, julienned
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ cups feta cheese, crumbled or mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup black olives

In a medium pan, sauté garlic in olive oil for 1 minute.
Add fennel and onion, and sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Add lemon juice and tomatoes, and cook over medium heat until part of the liquid evaporates, 10 minutes. 
Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in cheese and olives.
Serve plain as a side dish or make it a meal by serving this savory sauté over pasta or polenta. 
It can also top Italian bread which has been brushed with olive oil and toasted.

Tomato, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Sauce for Pasta or Polenta

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1 ½ pounds Italian sausage links (hot or mild)
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped fennel stalk
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 cans (each 28oz) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed, or7-8 cups peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
Pinch sugar
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons minced fennel leaves (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium flame.  
Add Italian sausage links and brown on all sides. 
Drain on paper towels. 
Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. 
Add onion, garlic, chopped fennel stalk, and fennel seed. 
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. 
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. 
Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes. 
Slice sausages into rounds and add to sauce. 
Continue to simmer 30 minutes or more. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Stir in minced fennel leaves just before serving, if desired. 
Toss with hot, cooked pasta (use short, thick type like penne or corkscrew) or serve over hot polenta, with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 8-10.

Tangerine and Fennel Salad with Mixed Greens

6-7 small tangerines
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup dry sherry or flat champagne
½ cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 tablespoons minced fennel “leaves”
Salt and pepper to taste
4-5 cups mixed salad greens

Cut 1 of the tangerines in half and squeeze the juice into a medium bowl. 
Mix in olive oil, sherry, both kinds of fennel, salt, and pepper. 
Peel remaining tangerines; divide into segments. 
Pierce each segment with a sharp fork a couple of times (to absorb dressing). 
Add tangerines to dressing; toss well. 
Chill thoroughly. 
Divide greens onto 4 salad plates. 
Arrange tangerine mixture over greens, drizzling some directly onto greens. 
Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
Serves 4.

Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel, Peas, and Parmesan Sauce

3 pounds boneless pork loin, in one piece
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrot
1 cup finely diced white onion
4 to 5 oz pancetta or bacon, finely diced
1 cup white wine
1 to 1½ pounds fennel, bulbs only, cleaned, cored and cut into eighths
10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1½ cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup frozen peas
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. 
In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. 
When the oil is hot, brown the roast on all sides, at least a few minutes per side so it gets nice and brown.  Remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the celery, carrot, onion, and pancetta over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. 
Add the wine, stirring well to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
Continue cooking to reduce liquid, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Line the bottom of a small roasting pan with the fennel, garlic, stock, and cream. 
Add the pork and pour over it the mixture from the pan; use a spatula to remove any good little bits of chopped vegetables and pancetta. 
Roast in the oven for about an hour, turning the meat every 15 to 20 minutes to keep it moist. 
When the meat is done, it should be slightly pink on the inside. 
Remove the roast and fennel and set aside. 
Let the roast sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
Put the roasting pan on a stovetop burner over medium heat.  (If the pan cannot be placed on a burner, transfer the contents to a saucepan.) 
Bring the contents to a boil, then simmer, reducing to a sauce-like consistency, for 8 to 10 minutes. 
Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. 
Stir in the cheese until melted.  Remove from heat.
Slice the pork, no more than ¼ inch thick, and lay overlapping slices on a platter or individual plates. 
Spoon the sauce on top, making sure to include bits of chopped vegetable and pancetta. 
Surround the meat with fennel, peas, and more sauce.

“…my eye fell on a mound of fresh fennel, the fragrant bulb with the feathery green fronds that is also touted as an aid to digestion.  And in some parts of the world fennel is simmered with water for a refreshing mouthwash. But I love the licorice-like flavor of fennel, which imparts an elegant note to baked or grilled fish or to shrimp, salmon or trout.  And fennel is also a lovely seasoning for Sunday roast chicken. When I cook with fennel, I season the seafood or chicken with salt and pepper, a sprinkling of oil and a little garlic.  I then top the fish with slivers of the fennel bulb, some chopped fronds, and bake.  For roast chicken, I also stuff the cavity of the chicken with chunks of the bulb and a few fronds, perfuming the kitchen with an enticing aroma.” — Excerpt from StarTribune article by Joyce White