Tuscan Bean and Fennel Soup

This soup is so easy and tasty!

  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15oz cans white beans
  • 1 bunch kale, steam removed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can 28 oz tomatoes, topped
  • 1 15 oz diced tomaotes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 qt veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan rind (if vegetarian)

In a large pot, heat oil and add fennel, cook over medium heat for 5 min. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broth, beans, bay leaf, parm rind and spices. Cook for 20 – 40 minutes on low heat. Add kale and cook for 5 minutes until tender.

Remove bay leaf and serve.

Serves 6.

Shaved Fennel Salad


This is wonderful light and refreshing salad!

Ingredients:
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 small fennel bulbs, and fronds
1/2 c parsley, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz firm sheeps milk cheese, grated

Fill a 6 cup container with 1 quart of cold water and the lemon juice. Slice the fennel very thin on a mandoline and place in the water. Chill until ready to use.

Drain the fennel and toss with enough olive oil to coat and salt. Arrange on a plate, top with parsley, fennel fronds and cheese.

Serves 4 – 6.

Fennel and Chard Puff

  
It tastes as good as it looks! It’s worth the effort.

Ingredients:
2 tsp grated parmesan
1 TBSP butter
1 lb fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 TBSP honey
Salt and pepper
1 bunch of chard, chopped small
1 lemon
2 shallots, sliced thin
4 eggs
1/2 c creme fraiche
6 oz gruyere cheese
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 tsp minced herbs, parsley, thyme and chives

Preheat the oven to 400 with a baking sheet set on rack in the upper 3rd of the oven. Butter a shallow 8 inch casserole and dust with Parmesan.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter. Add fennel and shallots and cook until starting to brown, stir in honey, salt and pepper. Cook until carmelized. Add the chard and lemon and cook until chard is soft and liquid is absorbed.

Separate eggs. Add creme fraiche, cheese, herbs and corn starch to the yolks, stir to combine. 

Beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1/3 into the yolk mixture, stir in veggies.. Fold in remain white and pour into prepared pan.

Carefully place on preheated baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. 

Serves 4.

Pork Cutlets with Fennel Salsa Verde

  

This one is from Bon Appetite, quick and easy.

Ingredients:

1/4 small fennel bulb, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
1/2 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 TBSP chopped drained capers
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP lemon zest
1/3 c olive oil, plus more
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP fennel seeds
2 1/2 lb center-cut boneless pork loin, silver skin removed
1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 lemons, quartered

Stir fennel, fennel fronds, shallot, garlic, capers, parsley, lemon zest, and 1/3 cup olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Cover salsa verde and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grind fennel seeds in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Slice pork loin into 4 pieces. Use the tip of a sharp knife to lightly score both sides of each piece in a crosshatch pattern, being careful to barely break the surface. Lightly brush all over with olive oil. Working one at a time, pound pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4″ thick. Sprinkle with ground fennel, pressing to adhere; season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Working one at a time and adding more vegetable oil to skillet between batches as needed, cook pork until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.

Cook lemon halves, cut side down, in skillet until browned and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Spoon salsa verde over scaloppine and squeeze with lemons.

Pork Cutlets with Fennel and Asparagus Salad

  I think restraint may be the most difficult thing a cook faces. Thank you Bon Appetite for this simple yet complex dish. Freshness really matters for this dish so try to get your veg at the farmers market and prepare this within 2

Ingredients:
Pork Cutlets, ¼ inch thick
3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 c dried bredcrumbs
2 TBSP corn starch
1 small fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced, plus 2 tablespoons fennel fronds
1 lb asparagus spears, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow bowl. Toss breadcrumbs and cornstarch in a third shallow bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper

Season cutlets with kosher salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to bowl with egg and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, allowing excess to drip off. Coat with breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook cutlets, shaking pan occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack; season with sea salt.

Combine fennel, fennel fronds, asparagus, onion, and parsley in a medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil; season with kosher salt and pepper. Serve salad alongside cutlets with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Serves 4.


Shaved Fennel and Parsley with parmesan Cheese

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Ingredients:
3 TBSP lemon juice
4 fennel bulbs, sliced thin
1/2 c parsley, chopped
Salt
2 oz shaved parmigiano

Fill an air tight container with cold water add lemon juice. Add fennel, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Drain fennel, toss with just enough olive oil to coat. Toss with parsley and salt. Top with shaved cheese.

Serves 4.
2 WW PP

Roasted Pork with Veggies

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This recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking. This is a great recipe when you have guests as you can do most it the work ahead and just pop into the kitchen to check on it. The pork flavors are truly italian.

Ingredients:
1/4 c plus 1 TBSP olive oil
2 Tbs. sambuca or Pernod
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 TBSP fennel pollen or dried fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper
1 3-lb. boneless pork loin
1-1/2 lb small yellow potatoes, halved
3 medium parsnips, quartered
2 onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 fennel bulb, quartered
1-1/2 c chicken broth
3/4 c white wine

In a small bowl, combine 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP sambuca with the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, coriander, 1-1/2 TBSP salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper to make a paste. Rub the paste over the entire roast. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Put the roast, fat side up. Add the chicken broth and wine, and roast, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the roast registers 135°F to 140°F, about 2 hours.

Arrange the potatoes, parsnips, onions, and fennel in a 13×17-inch (or similar) roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the remaining 1/4 c olive oil.

An hour into cooking the roast, placr the veggies on the top rack of the oven, stirring occasionally. When you remove the roast, crank the oven up to 400. You want the veggies, nicely roasted with some brown spots. When easily pierced with a fork, they are done.

Transfer the roast to a serving platter or carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Carve and pour the juices over the top. Serve with the roasted veggies.

Serves 6 – 8.

Spicy Meatballs with Sriracha Mayo

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These spicy little meatballs pair perfectly with a crisp salad and flat bread.

1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp Harissa
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp sumac
1 lb ground beef 85/15
1/4 c mayo
1 TBSP Sriracha

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Toast fennel, coriander and cumin in a small pan for about 1 minute until fragrant. Grind in a spice grinder.

Mix mayo and sriracha sauce and set aside in fridge.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and form into meatballs.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Serve with sauce.

Makes about 30 small meatballs.

Tomato and Fennel Soup

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After a few days of over indulging it’s time for some healthy food! This soup fills the bill and hits the spot! Inspired by a recipe in F&W, I eliminated a lot the oil to make this one healthier.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP canola oil
6 plum tomatoes, cored
1/2 TBSP sugar
Salt
1/4 c Pernod
2 TBSP olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs—halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c garlic, peeled
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Pepper
One 28-ounce can whole Italian peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large medium pan, heat the canola oil until nearly smoking. Add the plum tomatoes and sugar and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, turning, until the tomatoes are lightly charred and starting to burst, about 10 minutes.

Add the Pernod and cook over moderately low heat, breaking up the tomatoes, until a chunky sauce forms, about 20 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add the fennel, shallots, garlic, fennel seeds, oregano, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the fennel starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the fennel is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the tomato and fennel
Soup until smooth. Stir the tomato sauce into the saucepan along with the vinegar. Cook over moderately low heat until heated through and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with shaved cheese.

Porchetta, Fennel, and Apple Hand Pies

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Trader Joe’s is now selling cooked Porchetta – simply reheat and voila you have dinner, it’s really quite amazing. I decided to use this porky goodness to create a hand pie with fennel, apple, onion and hazelnuts – they turned out delicious!! You can always freeze these for a quick weeknight meal. Serve with salad and your all set.

Ingredients:
2 sheets of puff pastry, defrosted
8 oz Porchetta, medium dice
1 fennel bulb, medium dice
2 apples, cored, medium dice
1 onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
Egg white

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat.

In a large skillet heat some oil over low heat, add fennel, apple, onion, garlic, thyme and sauté about 10 minutes, until softened. Add pork and hazelnuts stir to combine and remove from heat.

On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry, until it is thin. Cut into rectangles and place about 1/2 c of filling in each (you may need to adjust, you want the pies pretty full), fold over the puffed pastry and form into a crescent shape, crimp the edges and place on baking sheet. Repeat.

Chill pies for 15 – 30 minutes.

Combine 2 TBSP egg white with 1 TBSP water and brush pies with wash.

Bake 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 8 – 12 pies.