Zuppa di Ceci e Finocchio alla Sarda (Sardinian Chickpea and Fennel Soup)

  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large bulb fennel
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fennel leaves
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup tubular pasta

Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and drain.  Trim the fennel, halve it, and slice thinly cross wise.  Chop tomatoes.  In a soup kettle over low heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion, garlic, and the 2 tbsp. of parsley; cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, add the fennel bulb and leaves and the potato and sauté for an additional 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and then the chickpeas and boiling water.  Stir well, cover, and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the pasta and continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender. Correct for salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tsp. parsley and the 1/4 cup cheese.

From The Vegetarian Table: Italy.

Linguine with Fennel and Tuna

  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 2 6-oz. cans solid light tuna
  • salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot; reserve ½ cup pasta water.  Trim the fennel bulbs, reserving ¼ chopped fronds.  Quarter, core and thinly slice bulbs crosswise; cook in 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until golden, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Add to pasta along with fronds, lemon juice, capers, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, and the reserved pasta water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Flake in the tuna.  Gently toss.

Serves 4-6.

From Everyday Food October 2003.

Green Beans and Fennel Ragout

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 cups fennel in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the potatoes and tomatoes, thyme and water.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Stem the beans and cut to 1 inch pieces.  Add the beans and sliced fennel to the pot along with saffron, orange peel and lemon juice.  Simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and beans are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe can be served with hearty peasant style bread and soft cheese like chevre or brie.  The flavors also meld nicely over time and so this dish is great as a leftover.

Fennel, Orange and Parsley

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 5 medium oranges
  • 2/3 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbs. slivered black olives
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Quarter, core and thinly slice fennel bulbs crosswise.  Separate oranges into segments over a large bowl (to catch the juices), then add segments to bowl.  Add fennel, parsley leaves, olives and olive oil.  Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.  Gently toss and serve.

Serves 4.

From Everyday Food October 2003.

Fennel and Celery Soup

1 large potato, cubed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 head celery with leaves, chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, and very thinly sliced (reserve feathery top)
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt, as needed, to taste

In large covered saucepan simmer potatoes in chicken broth and wine until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, sauté celery, fennel slices, and onion in olive oil until tender, about 15 minutes. Mash potatoes right in the broth mixture in the saucepan with a masher. Stir in celery-fennel mixture. Heat through. Season with pepper and salt.  Chop reserved fennel tops and use to garnish each serving. Adapted from Food.com

Fast Sauté of Fennel and Mushrooms

  • 1 large fennel (with leaves)
  • 1/2 lb whole mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Thinly slice fennel, discarding any hard core.  Mince 1/2 cup of the leaves and set aside.  Slice mushrooms to same thickness as fennel.  Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and oil in a sauté pan.  Add mushrooms and cook over medium high heat until brown.  Remove and set aside.  Add remaining butter and fennel to pan.  Cook over medium heat until softened but still crunchy.  Add mushrooms, stir together.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in minced fennel leaves.

From The Victory Garden Cookbook.

Cucumber and Fennel with Orange-Mint Dressing

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely slivered
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients except walnuts in a salad bowl and gently mix. In a small bowl, whisk all vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and pour over salad. Serve immediately or marinate, covered in fridge, for 1-2 hours. Before serving, toss and garnish with toasted nuts. From Yamuna’s Table by Yamuna Devi.

Braised Fennel with Diced Vegetables

  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fennel greens
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ c. dry white wine
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Keeping the root end of the fennel bulb intact, halve each bulb lengthwise.  Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the diced vegetables and herbs, and sauté over medium-high heat until the onion begins to color.  Move the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the fennel bulbs, cut sides down.  Spoon the vegetables over and around them, season with salt and pepper and pour in 1 cup of water.  Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook until the liquid has evaporated, 10-12 minutes.  Give the diced vegetables a stir and add ½ cup of water.  Cover and cook until the fennel is tender-firm when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.  By this time it should be nicely browned on the bottom.

Remove the vegetables and the fennel to a serving dish, placing the fennel cut side up.  Return the pan to the heat, add the wine and butter, and scrape up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan.  When the wine and butter have reduced by half, add fennel greens, taste for salt, and season with pepper.  Spoon the sauce over the fennel and serve.

Serves 2 to 4.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Baked Sweet Fennel with Parmesan Crust

2 medium sized fennel bulbs

2 Tbsp. fruity olive oil

4 Tbsp. grated Pamigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Trim the fronds and stalks off the fennel bulbs and reserve for another use.  Cut trimmed bulbs in half lengthwise through the root.  Place the bulbs cut side up in a shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle each piece with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Turn the bulb over, adding a little more oil if necessary.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer.   Turn the fennel over so the cut side is up.  Sprinkle each fennel half with 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese and bake 5 minutes longer.

Serves 4.

From Recipes 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold.