I love Fennel! It’s not commonly used in home cooking, but you find it in a lot of restaurants. It has a taste similar to black licorice or star anise! But don’t let that scare you off! I edited this recipe from The Better Homes and Garden Eat Well, Lose Weight Issue. I paired it with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Pancetta and Paccheri all gricia.
So here’s what Fennel looks like. It has many uses and can even be eaten raw! For this recipe we’re using the bulb (The white bottom part). The top leafy part can be used in the way any herb is. It’s great for seasoning things and pairs well with lemon. Make sure you wash it well, like anything that grows in the dirt, it can have dirt in it.
Makes: 4 servings of 1 1/2 c.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 c. chopped fennel (1 1/2 lbs)*
3/4 c. chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
8 oz. yellow flesh potatoes, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. fat free milk
1/4 tsp dried thyme
8 oz. uncooked Italian Turkey Sausage (I used Turkey bacon because that’s what I had)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Slivered green onions (optional)
*The chops don’t need to be pretty, you’re going to puree it, but they do need to be the same size so they cook evenly. I used 2 fennels and only had about 10 oz. But that was plenty for the fennel flavor!
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the Fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes, till the fennel and onion are tender. Stir occasionally.
2. Add broth, potatoes, milk, and thyme. (If you want to use fresh thyme you add this closer to then end. Dried thyme needs to re-hydrate). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cool slightly
3. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain off the fat. (I actually started with 2 pieces of regular bacon and cooked about 9 pieces of turkey bacon in the regular bacon fat to give it the fatty flavor with less fat)
4. Transfer the potato mixture, half or thirds at the time, to a food processor or blender. (Don’t forget to hold the lid down. I put to much in the blender the first time and almost shot the lid off. AND it was still hot so I burnt myself. Also, if you’ve never used a blender before make sure you have some liquid in with the solids. It helps. ALOT.)
5. Return puree to sauce pan, stir in sausage and lemon juice. Heat thoroughly.
6. Serve with green onion slivers or reserved sausage/bacon
Nutrition: 254 cal., 9 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 39 mg chol, 831 mg sodium, 29 g. carb., 4 g sugar, 7 g sugar, 7 g fiber, 17 g protien