Fennel is ubiquitous in the Mediterranean, growing wild in many areas. All parts of it are utilized, from the seeds that give Italian sausage its unique flavor to the bulb to the celery-like stalks and fronds. Its anise-y flavor goes well with a medium to bold extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 10 pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 ounces coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the stalks off the fennel bulbs; reserve some of the feathery fronds for a garnish. (Save the stalks for another use.) Trim the bottoms, then remove the tough and stringy outermost layer from the bulbs. Slice very thinly. (Use a mandolin or meat slicer, if you wish.)
Add the fennel to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and gently combine. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from simplyrecipes.com