Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fennel root & onion (Serves 2)

Above is what a fennel root looks like, available at almost all grocery stores in the U.S. Picture of the dish shows serving size for one person.

The other day while I was on the phone, I was watching chef Lidia Matticchio Bastianich on television with the sound on mute. She is one of my favorite chefs.

She had almost finished preparing a crab dish, after which she made a quick side dish with fennel root and white onion in the same pan in which the crab was cooking. It was pretty simple and basic with olive oil or butter, I don't clearly remember. Then she added the cut fennel root and white onion and sauteed them until they were golden brown. It looked very delicious.

So I went ahead and tried the same dish, but with some modifications. I used a clean pan to start with as I had no crabs cooking, used olive oil, and instead of white onions used red onions as I didn't have white onions at home. Then I thought that if I added some toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley, it would add to the taste. It actually came out great. Here is the recipe.

1 fennel root diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion diced into 1/2 inch pieces
11/2 tbsp roasted pine nuts
2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped fine
Salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a hot pan, add the fennel root and onions, salt to taste, and cook them on medium to high heat making sure they don't get burnt and until they are caramelized and golden brown.

Take pan off the fire at this point, add freshly toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Outstanding and simple dish, very aromatic, and anyone can prepare, no kidding!

Health Rating: High

Ingredient Substitute/s: You can add butter instead of olive oil if you aren't vegan. Where
fennel isn't available you can always prepare this with just onions and a couple of tablespoons of fresh fennel seeds from the fennel plant.

If you can't find fresh fennel seeds, red bell pepper would be a great companion to the onions based on their sweetness, according to me.

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