Valley Bounty: September 6, 2014: Fennel

Voluptuous bulbs of fennel are back in season and can be found in grocery stores, at farmers’ markets and in CSA shares. Crunchy and sweet, fennel loves to be grilled, sautéed, or eaten raw and is an excellent pairing for pork dishes. I love sautéed fennel, apples, and onions with a juicy chop or loin this time of year! The flavors meld together for a sweet and savory dance your taste buds will enjoy.

By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture


Fennel, apples, and onions

A great companion as a side dish for chops, or as a stuffing for loin roast. For loin roasts, I’ll use the recipe below, but add bread cubes that have been dried and mix thoroughly for a stuffing. This goes over well for holiday times too!

  • 1 medium-large bulb of fennel, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 apples, cut into ¼” slices (any apple will do, but I like Jonamacs, Cortlands, or Braeburns—ideally, you want the same kind of apple that cooks well for pies)
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Salt & cracked pepper to taste

Start by sautéing fennel and onions until they’ve sweated and are nearly caramelizing. Add apples and spices, scraping the pan occasionally (but not hurting the apples). Remove from heat once the apples are soft but not mushy. Serve on the side of a steaming pork chop and enjoy!

For other places of inspiration, Meggin Thwing Eastman has a great risotto with pork, fennel, and peaches recipe, as well as one for caramelized fennel and onion pizza. Also try The Kitchen Garden’s leek and fennel spanakopita!