Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ahhhhh...Fennel

Fennel- that delicious, licorice-y, refreshing herb satisfies as well as heals.

Studies have shown that fennel reduces inflammation, helps digestion and there is now research into its ability to help fight cancer.

Healthy and delicious, low calorie and low glycemic....

It's time to take a look at Fennel - either buy it at your green market or plant some and enjoy it all season long. Remember to pick the bulb from the ground before the plant goes to seed, or it will grow too large and become tough.

You can grill it, roast it, slice it thin and put on a crudite plate. So many ways to enjoy this healthy treat- here are some further recipes for you to explore...
 

Singing the Praises of Fennel 

By Tara Parker-Pope,  Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

 In 1824, the writer Thomas Appleton sent his friend Thomas Jefferson a batch of garden seeds from Naples. The broccoli and cauliflower from the region were beyond compare, he wrote, but he saved his highest praise for the fennel.

The fennel is beyond every other vegetable, delicious. It greatly resembles in appearance the largest size celery, perfectly white, and there is no vegetable equals it in flavor. It is eaten at dessert, crude, and with, or without dry salt. Indeed I preferred it to every other vegetable or to any fruit.

Although Mr. Jefferson was an avid gardener, fennel has never gained much popularity in American cooking. This week, Martha Rose Shulman also sings the praises of this unusual vegetable, herb and spice, offering five new reasons why we should all start cooking with fennel.

Fennel and Leek Gratin With Feta: The gratin is simple and gluten-free. Serve it as a side dish or main course.

Couscous With Fennel, Chickpeas and Chard: Like many Tunisian stews, this one is fragrant with spices and loaded with beans and vegetables.

Farfalle With Stewed Fennel, Artichokes and Peas: Fennel gives this pasta, inspired by a signature Sicilian dish, a wonderfully sweet flavor.

Fennel and Red Pepper Salad: This salad never gets soggy — the longer the vegetables marinate, the tastier the salad is.

Oven-Roasted Fish With Fennel: This dish is a simplified version of a classic seafood entree from the French Riviera.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times

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