Published: 06/23/2015 - Updated: 04/03/2016
After buying a handful of fresh fennel, I dedicated myself to preparing several different dishes with this vegetable, which were great for anything from breakfast to dinner. Rarely have I had the opportunity to cook so many foods with it, and throughout this process I have really learned to appreciate it. Fennel is related to celery, and practically the entire vegetable is edible. It smells similar to anise, which is no coincidence; the same molecule that gives anise its smell is the same that fragrances fennel as well. It also gives it a slightly citrus flavor. It can be eaten both fresh and dried, and is primarily used as a condiment for a wide variety of meals, including soups, meat and fish, and of course, it is the primary condiment for pickling.
Fennel is an interesting vegetable, and its oil appears to have bacteriostatic properties, or properties that control bacteria. It is also an incredible source of calcium; 100 grams of this vegetable can surpass our daily calcium requirements. It can also supplement up to 90% of the iron, and other minerals in large amounts, such as potassium and magnesium. It is also rich in vitamin C, containing up to 35% of what we need to consume each day. Consuming 100 grams of fresh fennel, however, would be pretty difficult to do, but you can eat it fresh with yogurt or in your eggs at breakfast. It really does give a refreshing touch to everything it is added to.
1. Fennel Omelet
- 1 ½ tsp. fresh fennel
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c. mushrooms
- 30 grams sliced turkey
- 5 onion slices
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Pepper to taste
- Thinly dice the fennel, slice the mushrooms and turkey, and dice the onion into small pieces.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, mushrooms and turkey. Lightly golden and cook until the onion becomes clear.
- Break the eggs into a deep bowl, add a pinch of pepper (and salt if you like), a drizzle of milk, and the thinly diced fennel. Beat until all ingredients are well blended.
- Pour the contents of the bowl over the frying pan and cook over medium heat. Flip once the omelet puffs up and starts to form air bubbles on top. Cook the other side, then serve.
- Serve hot, alongside a slice of toast.
2. Borscht Soup
- ¼ c. fresh fennel
- ½ liter chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- 2 beets, peeled
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ½ cabbage, sliced
- 1 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. sherry
- 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ c. sour cream
- Boil the chicken broth, and in the meantime, heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the garlic and onion, and saute until soft and golden. Stir frequently. Once cooked, add the marjoram.
- Add the potatoes, celery, carrots and cabbage, then cook on low heat while covered, until the vegetables are slightly softened. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth to the vegetables, along with the bay leaf. Cook for another 15 minutes until all ingredients are soft. Stir occasionally.
- Add the vinegar, sherry, and fresh fennel. Mix until all the flavors are well blended, serve hot with a bit of sour cream on top of the soup.
3. Tartar Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. fresh fennel
- 2 Tbsp. capers
- ½ pickle
- 2 Tbsp. capers
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. mustard
- ½ tsp. English sauce or Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. powdered garlic
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Dice the pickle and fennel. You don’t need to dice it very thinly.
- Add the pickle, fennel, onion, capers and mayonnaise, and blend until all ingredients are well blended.
- Add the powdered garlic to the blender, along with the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and blend until everything is well combined.
- Store in the fridge. This can last for up to two weeks.
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