Last night I tried cooking something that I had never cooked before! Most people aren’t going to believe me when I tell them what it was – after all, it is a VERY common dish in Italy. Even here in San Francisco, those transplants from Italy grow this in their gardens and are thrilled when ’tis the season!
I recently signed up for a “farm fresh to you” service which delivers organic vegetables directly from the farms. Of course, you are getting what is currently being grown in nearby farms…but it is great because I am trying those vegetables that I never ventured to buy before.
Ok, ok….I know that you are all dying to find out what this mystery vegetable is, so I guess I will spill the beans and quench your curiosity!!!
Fennel is grown alot in Italy, especially in Tuscany and the Southern regions, but my family did not grow up eating it. Every once in a while, some friend would share a bulb with us….but I remember not being particularly fond of it. It was one of those things like liver – it’s OK to eat sometimes, but I couldn’t make it a regular on my menus. So, needless to say, I never really paid any attention to it at the supermarket.
But, lo and behold, it showed up in my crate this past week and so I decided to give it a try! I searched some recipes, and as I always enjoy the simple ones the best, I chose the following recipe. The result was a success! My husband and I both enjoyed it very much, and have now become fans of this delicious bulb!
1 fennel bulb, cut into strips
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and cut the fennel and place in an oven bowl. Mix the herbs with the olive oil and pour over the fennel, making sure the fennel is well seasoned.
Turn the oven to broil, and place the bowl in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until the fennel begins to brown. Remove from heat and serve warm.