Hey It’s Jet Here.
Mom likes fennel, however, the bulb usually finds its way into Mom’s class menus before her vegetable bin. Last week, she shopped at a different Publix location and the fennel packages stood like proper soldiers on their shelf calling for Mom’s attention.
Fennel, a beautiful vegetable, has wispy fronds like a dill plant at the tip of celery-like ribs leading to a greenish, white bulb at the bottom. Mostly, the bulb is used and the fronds decorate the finished dish. Fennel helps your digestive process, tastes like licorice and can be used raw or cooked. Mom’s colleague, Miss Diana, told Mom yesterday that in her family, they served a platter of fennel after the Sunday dinner meat course when she grew up. Fennel seeds serve the same purpose and some cultures chew on them after meals to aid digestion.
Mom added small chopped pieces to her salad preparation and will look up some further ideas for the remaining pieces. While proceeding through salad prep, she decided to flip us a few small tidbits. As her faithful Kitchen K9s, we keep open minds to new (safe for K9s) veggies. Turns out, we really like fennel, too!
Searching through her data base for the remaining fennel, this recipe caught Mom’s eye.
Israeli Couscous Salad with Fennel and Goat Cheese
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked (Mom will use other grains like oat groats, barley, rye and kamut!)
- 6 Bibb lettuce leaves (Mom will probably leave this out, not practical!)
- 1 (2.5-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
- Garnish: fennel fronds
- Trim base from fennel bulb; cut bulb into thin strips, reserving fronds for garnish, if desired.
- Whisk together olive oil and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add fennel strips, bell pepper, olives, and green onions, tossing to coat. Add couscous, and toss lightly.
- Arrange lettuce on 6 plates. Top with couscous mixture. Sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.
In her Kitchen Counselor role, Mom suggests adding protein of choice for another version of this yummy salad! Also, you may need to refresh with a squeeze of lemon on the leftovers as grains soak up dressing!
Here’s another recipe for possible inclusion in your holiday menu planning!
Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts with Fennel and Red Pearl Onions
Another great fennel day.