So it's the last day of January. It also looks like as soon as midnight hits we here in Nowhere, Ohio are going to get blasted with snow. Then that will be followed with a lovely quarter inch of freezing rain. This should be fun. At least that's what the National Weather Service says.
But what that also means is that I will no longer be concentrating solely on vegetables. I will be posting on an occasional sweet, like the cookies I had to get out of my house because there was no doubt that I could eat the entire batch in one day. I also got some bread books for my birthday and I'll most likely be trying some of them out. AND I'm toying with the idea of giving up meat (in the Catholic sense) for Lent. So not to worry there will still be vegetables. Just not everyday.
Todays vegetables, because today is still January, is Braised Fennel and White Beans from the ever so lovely Martha Stewart. Being that the Brain is a man and beans tend to have a malodorous effect on men, I left him at work happily eating some Fritos, Mountain Dew, and a can of Chef Boyardee. And I came home to warm up and indulge in my beans and fennel. So very very delicious! I can't even claim that I found this recipe. My stepdad made it for the family Christmas of 2006 to accomodate my sister-in-law who happens to be a vegan. It was my first taste of fennel and let me tell you, I'm hooked.
The beans still retain their shape but add a nice buttery taste which plays so well against the tang of the vinegar, the sweetness of the onions, and the licorice taste of the fennel. Yes it's the bulb of the fennel that is used in this recipe. Fennel is such an interesting vegetable because you can eat the bulb, the fronds, or the seed. Raw its taste is intensely of licorice, but that flavor mellows dramatically on cooking. It's also known as anise.
So yeah, these beans were delicious. So good in fact you could say that I love it. Which happens to be very convenient because, Susan at the Well-Seasoned Cook is having a blog event called My Legume Love Affair. And this is my entry. She'll post a round up of the variety of legume dishes the weekend of February 10th so be sure to check back on her website then. I personally am pretty excited to see what everyone comes up with. There are some seriously creative food bloggers out there.
Braised Fennel and White Beans
from Martha Stewart Living, January 2007
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 (15.5 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tsp coarsley chopped fresh oregano (plus more for garnish)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Heat oil in large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat.
Add fennel and onion; cook, stirring occaisionally, until tender and edges are brown, about 10 minutes.
Add beans, stock, chopped oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in vinegar and butter until butter is melted and remove from heat. Garnish with more fresh oregano.
I apologize for my spelling errors, but I can't seem to get the spell check to work. D'Oh!