Friday, February 17, 2017

Fennel Love


Add fennel to weeknight meals for a hint of fresh springtime flavor. A cousin of parsley, fennel is a slow growing crisp bulb that is reminisce of anise is normally purchased whole complete with feathery fronds and a very long stem. Larger fennel bulbs are often more tender than smaller, skinnier ones. Garnish with fennel flowers and use the fronds like you would dill.  
Choose fennel that is firm with no wilting and cut the fronds off the bulbs before storing. The core on the bottom of the bulb should be tender when pressed. Store the bulbs separate from the fronds in an open bag for up to one week in the refrigerator.


Skirt Steak with Fennel Slaw

Fennel brings a light and bright flavor to a grilled skirt steak. Skirt steak is packed with flavor and is super-tender after marinating. It’s a mainstay at our house. Try adding corn tortillas on the grill for impromptu tacos.

Serves 4

Steak
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. skirt steak

Fennel Slaw
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced celery
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. diced jalapeƱo pepper
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. table salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Prepare Steak: Preheat grill to 350° to 400°F (medium-high)
heat. In a large zip-top plastic bag, combine the vinegar, olive oil,
garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine. Add steak to
the bag, seal bag, and marinate 30 minutes. Remove steak from
marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill steak, turning once, 10 minutes for medium-rare. Let
steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Prepare Fennel Slaw: Combine all ingredients. Chill until
ready to serve.
Slice each strip of steak in half to make 2 shorter strips. Slice
down the long side (across the grain) of each strip to create
1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve with slaw.


All photos by Iain Bagwell from The Southern Vegetable Book by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House, 2016).
Copyright 2016 Rebecca Lang. All rights reserved. 
Please visit rebeccalangcooks.com for more information.

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