Thursday, April 12, 2012

Instead of fiction, fennel

Not really feeling the literary life today; not sure why, but allow me to compensate by talking about fennel! It's awesome! Yeah, that stuff that grows in huge clumps along the freeway here in Northern California is just the best thing ever, roasted or sauteed. Nor does one need to park precariously on the shoulder and start hacking away at those bushes. Turns out they sell it at the grocery store, minus the coating of car exhaust (one hopes).

My fennel feeling started with this recipe from Bryant Terry's The Inspired Vegan* for Savory Grits with Sauteed Broad Beans, Roasted Fennel, and Thyme. It's vegan, and it's easy, and you should definitely make it either before or after you buy the book.**

So I used the bulbs for that, but hung onto the stalks and fronds, not sure what I was going to do with them, until just now. I just chopped up the stalks and fronds, and sauteed them with some garlic, walnuts, salt, and pepper, and served over penne pasta for a quick and delicious lunch.

No photos, because I'm a lousy food stylist.

*a much-loved holiday gift from Amy and Doug!
**the only part that might slow you down is that to make the creamy grits properly, you have to soak raw cashews overnight before pureeing them. But they're actually delicious in their own right, for smoothies and other uses, and well worth making. And if you don't remember to make these ahead of time, heck, just make polenta with some vegan margarine, even though Terry seems to frown on this...

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