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Fantastic Fennel

Posted 8/1/2016 7:44pm by Erin Caudell.

When fennel is in season and it has come to market people often ask us what to do with it.  It’s not something most of us eat as often as our salad greens and carrots, and according to Fine Dining Lovers that might be because fennel seems old fashioned.  Fennel isn’t old fashioned; it actually has a fascinating history.  Fennel is quintessentially Mediterranean, even if fennel was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vegetable. Italy produces 85% of the world’s fennel. Romans, Egyptians and Greeks all have been using fennel in their recipes for centuries. This veggie even appears in Greek mythology associated with Prometheus and Dionysus. Look in your Italian and Mediterranean cookbooks to find more fennel recipes.


        1 fennel bulb, trimmed

        5 medium carrots

        2 large beets, trimmed and peeled



        2 teaspoons fennel seeds

        1/4 cup fresh orange juice

        2 tablespoons vinegar

        2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

        1 shallot or green onions, halved and very thinly sliced

        Coarse salt to taste

        1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Quarter fennel bulb lengthwise, and cut out core. Very thinly slice fennel lengthwise into strips using a mandoline or sharp knife.  


Grate carrots, then beets, on the large holes of a box grater. Arrange side by side with fennel.


Keep covered with damp paper towel, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Make the vinaigrette: Toast fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat about 1 minute.


Transfer to a small bowl, and add orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, and 1 teaspoon salt.


Gradually whisk in oil.

Toss fennel, beets, and carrots with vinaigrette in a large bowl.