Friday, July 30, 2010


I've heard of fennel, but never used it. My life has been so limited. On the other hand, I grew up in a house where garlic powder was considered an exotic spice, so my learning curve was pretty steep.

Fennel jar in hand, I went to several cookbooks, trying to learn of a purpose for fennel. I learned that it's great with tomatoes and chicken, and used in Italian cooking. So here's what I dreamed up!


2 pounds white fish fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, minced
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 tomatoes, coarse diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup coarsely chopped chives

Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and fennel seed, and saute a minute or 2. Add the tomato and carrot, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. At this point, this becomes a flexible recipe: don't you just love flexibility?

Option 1: Add the fish to the skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat until done.
Option 2: Place the fish in a small baking pan, pour the vegetable/seasoning mix over it, and bake at 400F until done.
Option 3: Place portions of the fish on individual 12" squares of foil, pour the vegetable/seasoning mix over the portions, seal tightly, and grill (you know I don't know the procedures for grilling, but I know that you do).

See? Easy peasy. This was really good. There was only rice left for Thor. But that's OK, because Thor likes rice.

So, thank you, Debbie, for the spices. I will be finding other ways to use fennel seed (suggestions are welcome), and I think next week will bring experiments with saffron. We shall see.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

That sounds good to me but try eating green fennel as a vegetable it is delicious. Diane

Pam said...

I love fennel in my red sauces and even on pizza. Your recipe sounds delicious.

Channon said...

I've eaten fennel the veggie...

Sue said...

I have a mushroom recipe that I first had in Russia. It uses fennel seeds. It's the only thing I've found to use it, but I look forward to trying it in other ways, too.

altadenahiker said...

Very funny, and oh, good. I love new ways to eat fish. Fennel grows wild around here, but I guess I'll have to learn to cure the seeds.

(Childhood food memories: I grew up thinking parmesan cheese came in a green casing that you peeled away to get to the white stuff.)

Nichole said...

What about fresh fennel? I used it in a recipe once... or twice. Rachael Ray likes to cook with it.

Linda said...

Fennel in soup...fresh fennel in soup even.

Mickle in NZ said...

Marjie, that looks delicious. My brain and taste buds were connecting as I read all the ingredients - what a great sauce with clear flavours, yet it wouldn't have overwhelmed the fish.

Fennel in a sauce or gravy would go well with the turkey breasts you regularly roast. It works well with asian flavourings too.

Happy Spice discoveries, Michelle xxx ..... and a sleeping Zebby (it would be a different story if there was "smello-vision" as he adores fish)

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Way to go! Fennel is a great match with fish. It is also nice to warm it up in a dry pan to bring out more flavour.

Anonymous said...

I am having jealousy issues over your spice gift. What an awesome sight. Anyway, try the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for fennel recipes. Library usually has them.
Have a nice weekend.

Pam said...

I don't use fennel seeds a lot, but there is one recipe, and for the life of me, I can't think of it now, that does and it's great. I'll have to get back to you!

grace said...

haHA--not only is this an alliterative dish, but it's a tasty one at that! excellent fennel debut. :)

Chef Dennis said...

Roast a fennel bulb and you will always want to eat it!! I use a bulb sliced up when ever I roast veggies!
just amazing!

Velva said...

Fennel is a wonderful aromatic vegetables. I love to use it in salads. I am glad you have discovered it, you will never be disappointed.

Kevin said...

I have been wanting to use fennel more often and this sounds like a tasty way to!