Juice, Salad, Braised Fennel…

 

 

We are leaving for the weekend so last night we decided to try to use up a bunch of our vegetables and what better way then to juice em’ up!

We had some leftover Kale and Kohlrabi sticks (I had prepared earlier this week). We also added 1 carrot,  half the bunch of beet greens, 1 potato, and a small piece of ginger for better taste!

 

 

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Above is our juicer and the pile of veggies. Below is the juice on the left and the fiberous leftovers that we put into a freezer bag for making stock later!

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And here it is! All those veggies and nutrients ready to be enjoyed. It was a great pre-dinner snack for right when Curt got home from work.

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And as always, Curt was still hungry for another type of Appetizer before he started cooking up the Braised Fennel dish. So he made an awesome salad!

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The salad was loaded with lettuce, radicchio, beet greens, kohlrabi chunks, chopped fennel stocks, a couple olives sliced, a few sprigs of cilantro chopped, a handful of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cranberries! We used our favorite Annie’s Green Goddess dressing. YUM!

Let me introduce you to Curt…

Hi, Im Curt and Im going to tell you how to make one of the most amazing fennel dishes you’ve ever eaten EVER! If you don’t think you like fennel, then try this dish (Curt didn’t actually say that but he did write this up for all you to read haha):

Braised Fennel

The original recipe called for only 1 bulb of fennel which was good because that’s all we had but if I was going to make this again (and I will!) I would use 3 or 4 bulbs.    The amounts of other ingredients are based on the single fennel bulb so if you make a bigger batch just double everything.  Cut the fennel bulb(s) once lengthwise and then vertically in 4 or 5 strips.  If you leave the core on the inner layers should all remain in tact even after cutting.  There were also some stalks left on the fennel which you can slice up and add as well.  Even a sprig of the leaves for classiness is acceptable.

Start heating up some oil and butter in a frying pan.  Chop up half an onion and some garlic.  Throw everything into the frying pan and heat over medium high heat for 5-10 min stirring occasionally until everything is nice and browned up.  Add some salt and pepper during this part.  While that’s cooking, slice up some green olives and cube 1 or 2 tomatoes (or use a can of cut up tomatoes).  When the fennel is nice and browned add in the olives and tomatoes as well as some capers and about a cup of liquid.  Chicken or veggie broth are great but water would work too.  Stir the mixture and bring to a simmer.  Cover the pan and simmer on low for 20-25 min.

While this was cooking we started getting our meat ready.  I cooked a piece of bacon, slightly crispy, crumbled it up and added it to the fennel pan.  I then cooked a half pound or so of ground sausage until brown and then added that to the pan as well.  We didn’t think of it this time around but we should also have been cooking some sort of pasta or rice to go with the meal.  Linguine might be nice.  I was getting a bit ancy and ended up cooking the final 10-15 min uncovered, eventually cranking up the heat to cook off excess liquids.  There shouldn’t be much liquid left by the time the 25min has passed.  When you think it’s ready remove from heat and wait 10-15minutes (if you can!) before serving for extra flavor enhancement! It will be smelling really good at about this point and you may be hungry.  Try and distract yourself somehow while you wait.  Maybe eat a piece of bread.  You can also chop up a few sprigs of fresh parsley to sprinkle on top and if you’re serving over past don’t forget the cheese!

This meal was epic, definitely will have to repeat again.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out with fennel being one of the main ingredients.  The cooking process takes much of the ‘licorice’ flavor out of the fennel and all that remains is an amazingly savory taste and texture!

Crazy lookin’ Curt in the kitchen choppin’ up fennel!

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About Kimberly

I've always been in love with food. I was recruited as a pastry chef at a local bakery when I was 15 and left to go to Culinary School when I was 18. Although culinary school didn't work out (too business oriented), I have become more involved with farming and farm-to-table dishes. I'm a twenty something-er who is trying to figure it all out and using food to get through the tough times. Whenever I'm stressed, I twirl in the kitchen and find something to make!
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One Response to Juice, Salad, Braised Fennel…

  1. teriprestash says:

    hmmmmm… never tried fennel! Might have to- I trust you.
    On another note: I made your yummy kale the other night and substituted pomegranate seeds for dried cranberries. Nice, crunchy pop!

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