When I first encountered the whackadoo vegetable/herb/spice known as fennel, I was admittedly at a loss. I hadn’t prepared or eaten fennel before, so I had no idea how to prepare it, how it tasted, or what I should serve it with. Fortunately, I like a good food-related challenge and am also a Google enthusiast. Lo and behold, with a pinch of Google and a dash of inventiveness, I turned my challenge into a success.
This recipe is similar to my Fennel Onion Saute, save for the fact that it uses fennel stalks (instead of the fennel bulb), garlic, and red bell pepper. The fennel bulb and stalks can be prepared together, however I chose to use them separately to better understand their preparation- and flavor-based differences, among others. The fennel stalks had a slightly different texture, and they took a bit longer to saute, but they were no less delicious than the fennel bulb itself.
Here goes, recipe numero ventitré:
FENNEL STALK AND ONION SAUTE
Ingredients: 8-10 fennel stalks (from 2 fennel bulbs), 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/4 large red onion, 4 large cloves garlic, 1 lemon, ~2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (optional: olive oil, sea salt)
Preparation: Chop stalks just above the bulb and place bulb in refrigerator crisper if not using immediately.
If saving feathery green leaves, snip non-wilted/damaged ones from stalks using kitchen shears. Wash, pat/spin dry, bag, and refrigerate for later use.
Remove and discard any/all leaves, small branches, and top ends from large stalks. Wash, shake off excess water, and slice across stalks to create ~1/4 inch pieces. Wash, halve, and de-stem/seed red bell pepper. Dice one of the halves. Chop 1/4 from large red onion. Remove outer peel/hard core and dice. Remove peel/tops from 4 large garlic cloves and finely dice.
Place sliced stalks and diced pepper, onion, and garlic into saute pan. Add juice of 1 lemon and ~2-3 tbsp’s apple cider vinegar. Saute covered, stirring periodically until desired doneness is reached (adding additional apple cider vinegar if necessary).
Serve and enjoy! 🙂
(Optional: Add a touch of olive oil and/or sea salt when plated to make the dish more savory!)