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Thursday, August 6, 2009

something new: grilled fennel salad

i tried fennel for the first time this summer. it was a big deal. i mean, not a big deal like when i became a US citizen or when i finally parallel parked my car by myself but a big deal nonetheless. i'd been dodging the fennel bullet for awhile because i had heard it tasted like licorice. i hate licorice. my only point of reference is the black licorice candy that coats and sticks to your tongue, bitter and not exactly sweet. the very smell grosses me out. so why in the world would i entertain trying fennel?

i blame the foodnetwork. i followed Racheal Ray closely back in the day, attracted to her angle that cooking, from start to finish, should be around 30 minutes. my type of cooking in general because i'm a girl with a time budget and many other hobbies that require my attention away from the kitchen. Racheal cooked often with fennel, to showcase her sicilian roots. Giada di Laurentiis also plays with fennel often. it's only natural that i would succumb eventually. during a twitter infested night my twitter friend @dorifern posted something about her fave fennel salad. i requested the recipe for use and that became my big deal.

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Grilled Fennel Salad
from @dorifern

@dorifern's salad is raw but i decided to grill the fennel, to soften it a bit. my braces-impaired teeth was feeling rather tender.

slice fennel thinly and splash with a bit of olive oil. grill till desired softness. dressing: smashed and minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil & salt to taste. pour over fennel. mix that junx up and enjoy! i was going to shave some parmesan cheese but i didn't have any.

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it still tasted wonderful. i don't know if i didn't pick the a "ripe" fennel or the grilling and dressing masked it, but i didn't taste the licorice-ness. it was a fresh taste, still slightly crisp, sweet but with a note of sourness from the lemon juice. it was the personification of summer on a plate.


today's song: Jason Mraz, If It Kills Me

14 comments:

  1. Fennel. Is. Awesome. We love it--grilled, roasted, raw, you name it. Love what you've done with it!

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  2. Yeah, I bet the grilling helped, I think fresh fennel has a more licorice taste. I've heard citrus goes really well with fennel too! Wish I had planted some earlier in the season. Next year!

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  3. Lan, this sounds delicious. I totally heart fennel and am now craving it - Must. Grill. Fennel.

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  4. looks yum. I dislike fennel and black licorice too.

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  5. Phrases like "dodging the fennel bullet" are exactly why I keep coming back in here. Also, the photos, and all the other words, but fennel bullets really hit the mark.

    I've only ever used fennel within dishes that mainly overpower its flavour, but I've always enjoyed eating it. I'm intrigued at the idea of fennel being the star of the show. Salad, eh? I will try.

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  6. This looks good - I hated fennel for years and then I went to dinner with my old boss and she ordered a grilled fennel salad appetizer and it turned out to be delicious! I've liked it ever since.

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  7. Grilled fennel sounds delicious. Now you need a recipe for the months of the year when you can't use the grill. Try this one! Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-fennel-with-parmesan-recipe/index.html

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  8. elle, i am such a fan now. i bought two from the farmer's market recently and then another trip to the grocery store, i bought two more. I KNOW!

    aliza, if only i had a green thumb, i'd love to grow these gems!

    amy, my next endeavor is to roast them. i'm sure i'll be having this again, and often!

    sarah, cooking the fennel really does mellow out the licorice flavor.

    mike, i hope you do try it on it's own. for my part, i'll see about incorporating it with other ingredients so it can share the spotlight.

    maris, i'm so glad you're on the fennel wagon, it's such a great veggie. (one would think i've been eating it for years and not for just 2 weeks!)

    myfamousrecipe, thank you for the link. i will be roasting fennel next time around! :)

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  9. I love fennel - raw, grilled, braised, or simply boiled in salted water and drizzled with melted butter. Like most people who grew up in Asia, I never ate fennel when I was a kid, so now I'm making up for lost time.

    And look at your grilled fennel! So beautiful.

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  10. Leela,
    i know we as asians were exposed to alot of veggies that the western world does not have access to but why do i feel so jipped that i'm only just now tasting fennel? :) i am soooooo making up for lost time!

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  11. Lan, enter this to our Battle Fennel!! This looks great!

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  12. Lan, enter this to our Battle Fennel!! This looks great!

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  13. Grilled fennel sounds delicious. Now you need a recipe for the months of the year when you can't use the grill. Try this one! Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-fennel-with-parmesan-recipe/index.html

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  14. looks yum. I dislike fennel and black licorice too.

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