Sunday, May 20, 2012

THE FRAGRANT VEGETABLE By Valerie Hould-Marchand

I have been eating outrageous amounts of cheese lately. And I must confess that the vegetable ash-covered, soft goat cheese ‹‹Le Cendrillon››, has me completely obsessed! And the warm nutty and floral notes of the Louis d’Or (that I brought back from Québec city) goes perfectly with a glass of Burgundy. Lately, cheese for dinner has become way too convenient! Sounds heavenly I know… But it’s not exactly balanced, and sadly, my cheesy habit had to change. So , I set out on a mission to find recipes that included some seasonal vegetables in hopes of weaning myself off of my pillowy, buttery, velvety friend. I tried plenty of them, but only a few successfully ended my one ingredient dinners. I was particularly intrigued by fennel, a vegetable i had little experience cooking with. This fresh, fragrant, anise-like flavor veggie is both a healthy food and a medicine. It is a great source of vitamin C, A, calcium, fiber, magnesium and potassium. Fennel improves digestion, helps fight fungi and bacteria, and is even suitable for breastfeeding women as well as babies. No wonder this Mediterranean vegetable has been loved since the days of ancient Greece and Rome! Cooking with the crisp and slightly sweet bulb was a lot of fun. I sautéed, grilled, braised, used it raw in salads : I tried it all and got inspired to create my own versions of the recipes I found on the net. Here are two easy recipes you can whip up in no time. Fennel Rings 1 head of fennel 1 cup of rice flour 2 eggs Kinniknnick Panko ½ cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 1. Preheat your oven at 450, and pour a few tablespoons of oil onto a baking sheet. 2. Slice your fennel into ¾ inch-thick rings. In a bowl, mix the panko bread crumbs and the cheese. Dip them in flour, beaten eggs, then finally coat them in the panko mixture. 3. Bake until golden brown, then flip and put the rings back in the oven until both sides are nice brown. 4. Season with sea salt and paprika. Peach Fennel salad 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
 1 Peach 1 Avocado
 1/2 cup shelled, pistachio nuts
 1 cup thinly sliced fennel 2 cups arugula Vinaigrette 

1 clove garlic
 1/4 cup roughly chopped chives
 1 tbsp. honey 2 tsp. wholegrain mustard
 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
 Pinch salt & pepper 1. Put all vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor pulse until everything is combined. Season to taste. 2. In a mixing bowl, add the cooked and cooled red quinoa, and about 3 tbsp. of the vinaigrette to keep it moist. Stir. 
 3. Halve the peach, remove the pit, and slice into thin pieces. Halve the avocado and cut into small chunks. Add the fennel slices, pistachios. Save a few pieces of your peach and avocado for garnish.
 4. the original recipe suggests using clean hands to toss everything, so you can be gentle and retain the shapes of the avocado and nectarine ; I would also recommend using your hands. Add as much or as little dressing as you want and give one more toss to coat. Garnish with a couple slices of peach and avocado. Until next time, Heal yourself Heal the planet References:

No comments:

Post a Comment