Yesterday when I was at the farmer's market, I wasn't able to find such a large selection of cheap, reduced rack produce. The one thing I did manage to find a lot of was fennel bulbs- I came home with a huge shopping bag full, at only 25 cents a pound.
Fennel, also called anise, has one of those flavors that you either love or you hate. I am in the love-it category.
I generally eat fennel raw in salads, but it tastes phenomenal cooked- its licorice type flavor is a bit more mild when it is cooked, and its texture is almost creamy.
Honey and mustard are the perfect flavor accompaniment for fennel's licorice like taste. This is my go-to cooked fennel recipe, and it is what I'm serving for supper. Absolutely delicious.
P.S. The fennel bulbs bought in the store are similar but different from wild fennels, which are all fronds, no bulbs.
2 heaping tablespoons sweetener- I generally use jaggery syrup since it's the cheapest non refined sweetener I can get, but honey, coconut sugar, white sugar, etc... all work
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon oil- any is fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dried dill
10-14 fennel bulbs, depending on their size
1. Cut the fronds off the fennel if there are any there. Save for another use. Wash the fennel well.
2. Slice the fennel bulb into quarters or halves, depending on their size.
3. Lay the fennel halves or quarters down on a lined baking tray or pan.
4. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together, and drizzle them all over the fennel.
5. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on how soft you want them to get.
6. Eat hot or cold.
Variations: If you can't get your hands in fennel, you can prepare cabbage wedges this way as well. Just cut your cabbage into eighths or so, drizzle with this sauce, and bake.
Ever prepare fennel bulbs before? What is your favorite way to eat it? Have you ever cooked fennel? Does this look like a flavor combination and recipe you'd enjoy?