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Plant Oriented Cooking


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RECIPE: Finocchi alla Ghiotta


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 8 large green Sicilian or Cerignola olives
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

METHOD

  1. Trim and cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise into four 1-1/2-inch-thick wedges.
  2. Slice the olive flesh off the pits lengthwise.
  3. Sauté the fennel, one cut side down, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, turning once with tongs, until the wedges are lightly browned on both cut sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and gently so as not to break up the fennel wedges, until the onions are slightly softened and browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, capers, and olives to the pan along with 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low or low, to maintain a steady simmer.
  6. Cook until the fennel wedges are fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and simmer briskly until most of the liquid evaporates, leaving a thick sauce, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION


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RECIPE: Fennel al Forno


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium fennel bulbs, about 2 1/2 pounds, topped, a few green fronds reserved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to oil the baking pan
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed or roughly powdered in a mortar or spice mill
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced or shredded
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup coarse dry homemade bread crumbs from an Italian or French loaf
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, or a mixture of parsley and fennel fronds
  • salt and pepper

NUTRITION


METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove a thin layer of the fennel bulbs’ tough exterior with a paring knife or sharp vegetable peeler. Cut the fennel crosswise into half-inch-thick slices. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the fennel for 1 minute, then put it in a bowl of cold water, drain and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly oil an oven-proof baking dish. Layer in the fennel to a depth of 1 1/2 inches (pushing down, if necessary).
  2. In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons olive oil, the fennel seed and the garlic, smashed to a paste with a little salt, the pepper flakes and the chopped rosemary. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of this mixture over the fennel. Sprinkle with the rosemary leaves. Cover with a layer of sliced or shredded mozzarella, then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Drizzle the remaining oil mixture, then sprinkle with Parmesan. (The dish may be prepared to this point several hours before baking.)
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until nicely browned. Garnish with the chopped parsley or a mixture of the parsley and fennel fronds.

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RECIPE: Fennel Frond Pesto


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Combine the fennel fronds, garlic, nuts and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is chopped up.
  2. Add oil and process/blend until the mixture becomes paste-like. (You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.)
  3. Serve pesto at once, refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

NUTRITION


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RECIPE: Braised Cannellini Beans with Kale


INGEDIENTS

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

RECIPE

  1. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the thyme sprigs, beans, broth and water, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 50 to 60 minutes.
  7. Uncover the pot and remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  8. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the kale and cook, uncovered, until the kale is tender but slightly toothsome, 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION


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RECIPE: Braised Fennel with Lemon


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and sliced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • vegetable broth or white wine
  • garlic (optional)
  • ginger (optional)
  • shallot (optional)
  • juice of the lemon (optional)
  • salt & pepper

METHOD

  • Mix the minced garlic with the olive oil for 5 minutes until fragrant
  • Heat the garlic oil
  • Add the ginger
  • Sauté the shallot for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the fennel with the broth or wine
  • Braise fennel for 20 minutes
  • Add the juice of the lemon
  • Season salt and pepper to taste

  • NUTRITION


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