Tag Archives: fennel

Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

I never notice pomegranates until they are gone. They appear in the grocery stores – usually on sale 2/$5 – for a couple months through the fall and winter, and then disappear the rest of the year. I wonder how I can get tomatoes all year round, but pomegranates only during select months? My point is that I save all these pomegranate recipes, forgetting to make them when I can find the fruits in season.

This recipe is very unique tasting. The pomegranate is sweet but very tart, adding a different flavor profile along with the nutty anise of the fennel and the citrus with herbs. It was fresh and had a bite, but will definitely make you stop and think, “Huh?” after the first bite. I think it’s the pomegranate seeds, which literally explode when you chew them.

Adapted from Bon Appetit:

Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/4″-thick slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped (I omitted and just used a pinch red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I only had parsley – totally different)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (didn’t use)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (hate dill)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1/2 small pomegranate)
  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is just tender and lightly golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, and sugar; cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. Cover; let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Using a small sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemon (an orange is good here, too). Cut between membranes to release segments; discard membranes and roughly chop. Add lemon with any juices and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to quinoa; stir. Add fennel mixture, chile, and herbs. Toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a platter; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

We had this with some vegetarian tacos that a friend (Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit) made – it was a healthy little lunch!
Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel and Sea Salt

This is a cookie so unique that I think tasters are perplexed into thinking they are in love with it. Here is the experience …

First, the smell – Parmesan, nutty and warm. Second, you get the sea salt, crunchy and ripe with minerals. Then, the butter, as the shortbread begins to melt in your mouth. Next, your first bite breaks apart the fennel seeds, releasing a soft anise flavor. After swallowing, the black pepper blooms with heat down your throat.

I just love savory cookies. I’ve made blue-cheese shortbread crackers and had all sorts of cheese coins since living in The South, and these little darlings make me think I’m on to something.

So delicious, especially in the afternoon, with a nice cup of tea. I prefer Earl Gray.

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel Seed and Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or pounded with mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I used fleur de sel)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a medium bowl on low speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, pepper, and kosher salt. Reduce speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 4–5 minutes. Add flour and cheese. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat mixture just until dough comes together.
Wrap dough in plastic or parchment paper and shape into a long cube. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 5 days ahead. Keep chilled. 

Stir together fennel and sea salt. Set aside.

Arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Cut dough into cookies 1/4 inch thick.
Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies generously with oil, then sprinkle with fennel salt.

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are golden brown (flecks of cheese will be slightly darker), 20–24 minutes.

Let cool on sheets for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room tem-perature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Roasted Shrimp with Fennel and Feta

This is one of those dishes that I just couldn’t photograph in a way to fully illustrate how incredibly delicious it is. A serious problem for someone always pointing a camera at her plate.

Regardless, I hope you read on, as this is one of the more beautifully delicious shrimp dishes I have made, and all in one pot. Roasting the shrimp with freshly sauteed fennel, tomatoes and herbs, topped with homemade breadcrumbs and crumbled feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Fresh and light and just delicious.

I adapted it from Ina Garten, of course, and my version is even simpler than hers, without sacrificing any flavor.

Roasted Shrimp with Fennel and Feta

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fennel (1 bulb)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch dried anise seed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh torn pieces of bread
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, anise seed, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the shrimp in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet.

Scatter feta evenly over the shrimp. In bowl of a food processor, add the bread and pulse until it becomes small crumbs. Add parsley, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle evenly over the shrimp.

Bake the shrimp for about 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.

This totally works. The shrimp loves the lemon and lemony feta, and the fennel and tomato mixture creates a delicious sauce to hold it all. We had ours with a simple green salad and crusty bread to mop up the juices. Perfect for a summer dinner and I had plenty of leftovers for lunch!

Enjoy, friends xoxo

The Perfect Roast Chicken

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The chicken you see above cost a little over $2. Not $2 per pound, not $2 per serving. Two dollars flat. It was about 4 pounds and was on sale at the local grocery store – I noticed all these old ladies leaving with a dozen birds, so I knew a good deal was on.

The beauty of roast chicken is that it does triple-duty. We had leftovers for two full meals and then boiled the leftover bones or whatever to make a delicious stock. Our leftovers are becoming tortilla chicken soup tomorrow.

Back to the roast chicken.

You can really do anything with this recipe, but I’ll include my adaptations to the original Ina Garten recipe.

Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets and extra fat removed and stored for later (boil them in your chicken stock).

kosher salt

pepper

1 bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, cut crosswise, or whatever you have on hand.

2 T butter, melted

1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 carrots, cut into chunks

1 bulb fennel, cut into chunks

1-2 pounds of red or new potatoes, cut into chunks

olive oil

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Method:

Preheat oven to 425.

Rinse the chicken inside and out, pat dry. Remove any pin feathers. On the inside, liberally salt and pepper, then stuff with half the fresh thyme, all the lemon and garlic.

In a roasting pan (or large baking dish), combine the onions, carrot, fennel and potatoes (you could also add garlic – live dangerously!). Toss with salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil (you could add other herbs if you have them, and I used dried thyme). Spread the veggies in an even layer.

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Now, tie the chicken’s legs together with twine and tucks its wings under its body. Brush it all over with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I also added paprika, for color and because my mom did. Use your gut instinct! Place the bird on top of the vegetables.

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Roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the thigh and the leg (mine was perfect after this time). Tent foil over the chicken for another 20 min. Remove the chicken to a platter and serve with the roasted vegetables and fennel fronds, for decoration.

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You’ll notice that some of the veggies got nearly black. They are delicious! In fact, I kept all the “burned” pieces for myself – they were so caramelized that they stuck to my teeth with sweet, savory goodness.

To serve, plate up the chicken and vegetables and spoon over extra juices from the roasting pan. We had this with bread and a simple salad – ta da!

What a satisfying meal.  As I hope you can see from the pictures, it is a feast for the eyes and the belly. One chicken feeds four people easily.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have to check on my chicken stock. Enjoy, friends! xoxo