I'll admit when I saw all the fennel in this week's CSA farm box, I was a little unsure of just what to do with it.
Fennel, has a deep licorice flavor and can enhance the flavor of lots of foods, but often its used with cured meats, like sausage or pepperoni, definitely not a staple in my cooking.
So, I did a little research and it turns out fennel is good for you, like really good for you. I'm not sure why this little nutrient dense baby hasn't achieved superfood status yet. Here is a summary of what I found below:
Fennel Health Benefits:
Is a great source of fiber and can help to relieve digestive issues
Can help to balance endocrine and reproductive disorders
May assist to improve milk production for lactating mothers
Has been shown to reduce inflammation and help manage chronic pain
Is loaded with potassium, anti-oxidants and Vitamin C
Has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory abilities
Can reduce cholesterol and improve cardio-vascular health
And in addition to the above, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, fennel is thought to be warming and more yang in nature, helping to balance out excess yin (coldness) in the body, making it a great spring food to help balance the energies of the changing winter to spring seasons and the resulting energetic shifts within our bodies.
As I was researching the health benefits of fennel, I also need to familiarize myself with out to cook and and what to pair it with. Turns out the Sicilians figured this out a looong time ago. Citrus and Fennel are an unlikely but amazing pair.
Fennel and Citrus Spring Salad
2 Blood Oranges
1 Medium Sized Fennel Bulb
1 Ruby Red Grapefruit
1/4 Cup Shelled Pistachios
1/4 Cup Miyokos Plant Based Mozzarella (or Feta)
2 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar
1 Tbsp Good Quality Olive Oil
1 Tsp Orange Juice (fresh)
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
Cut the rinds off of the orange and grapefruit and slice into thin cross sections. Finely chop the fennel bulb and cube or crumble the plant based cheese.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
For the dressing, mix all the ingredients except for the honey in a small mixing bowl. Let the flavors come together for about an hour if possible.
Mix both the salad and dressing together and top with fresh fennel fronds, some coarse sea salt (like maldon) and sprinkle with honey if desired. Serve immediately.
Enjoy babies xo