The flavor and texture of fennel is like the perfect combination of a crisp, sweet apple, and celery. With a little anise thrown in. I like young fennel raw, sliced paper thin and tossed with nearly anything. We’ve served it shaved with Asiago and a lemony vinaigrette, as a light summer slaw, and it’s even added that je ne sais quoi to a summery potato salad. Fennel is fresh and fragrant, and even if you don’t showcase it in a summer side, it supports and carries flavor beautifully.
Later in the season, as the fennel toughens up, I like to roast it. But for now let’s not even mention the oven. Just shave the fennel with a mandoline, and add it to everything. I adore this hearty, and beautiful, citrus, beet, and fennel salad, and this one with fennel and kohlrabi (the forgotten stepchildren of CSA shares everywhere).
One last thing–there’s a fennel hater in my house. His name is Brian. He also
hatesdislikes cucumbers, which I’ll never understand. Anyway, Brian likes fennel best tempered by some sweet citrus. I guess it plays down or melds with the dreaded anise flavor enough for him to enjoy the stuff. So, if you have a fennel hater, give that a try.
Moving beyond the world of seasonal eats, Brooklyn Supper is thrilled to be included on Babble.com’s 2012 list of the Top 100 Mom Food Blogs. Brian is hoping we’ll rank really high if they ever release the Top 100 Dad Food Bloggers, but for now we’re cherishing our place among so many (female) luminaries.