Let’s talk about the nutritional properties and the different uses of this elegant vegetable! The fennel is a very versatile autumn/winter vegetable.
Fennel is available from November to March; it contains few calories and many mineral salts, and vitamin A. Its characteristic taste is determined by the anethole: an aromatic compound widely found in nature, which contributes to the characteristic taste of dill and anise.
Fennel can be eaten raw, cut very thinly, or baked au gratin. In addition, fennel is also suitable for cooking in a pan, such as in combination with a roast meat. It is often used in salads paired with oranges. All these preparations are useful for preserving the qualities of fennel, which has diuretic properties, improves liver function and has anti-inflammatory properties.
This time I wanted a fennel and oranges salad with a litlle twist of creativity. I found this recipe that suited my Christmas menu just perfectly.
Terinettes Fennel over Orange Gelée
- 2 big fennels
- 4 oranges
- 1 sheet of gelatine (2 – 3 g)
- Olive oil,
- ½ yellow onion,
- salt and pepper
Soak the gelatine sheet in abundant cold water for at least 10 minutes.
Peel the oranges, removing the white membrane as much as possible. Cut between membranes to release segments.
Put the oranges and the juice in a pot, bring to the boil then add the squeezed jelly. Turn off, stir pour the oranges into 4 glasses. Put in the refrigerator at least two hours, or overnight. (Being winter I use a lot my windowsills! I find it very convenient since Italians refrigerator are not as big as the american ones. In fact there was more food on the windowsills than in the refrigerator!)
In the meantime (or the day after), wash the fennel and remove the outer though part. Dice them. Sauté in a pot 2 spoonfuls of oil and the chopped onion.
Add the fennel, cover with water, salt lightly and cook for half an hour. Add some water if necessary.
Once coocked, blend everything, add some salt, pepper to taste. Allow to cool.
Pour the cream of fennel on the orange gelee.
Serve with a little olive oil, pine nuts and salt flowers, or use the fennel sprigs to decorate.