Cabbage and Fennel Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Cabbage and Fennel Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

By Mara, elementalcustard.com

¼ - ½ head of cabbage

1 bulb fennel

1 sweet apple (like fuji)

¾ c dried cranberries

½ c roasted pecans, chopped

½ c chopped parsley

1 Tb Dijon mustard

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb lemon juice

1 Tb honey

To prepare cabbage, lay on its side and slice through the stem to cut the cabbage in half. Remove the coarse stem by cutting around it. Place the cabbage, cut side down and slice into thin slices. Place in a large bowl.

To prepare the fennel, slice off the upper shoots, leaving the bulb only. Cut in half through the stem and remove the stem similarly to the cabbage. Place the fennel bulb cut side down and slice into very thin strips (or use a mandolin). Place in the bowl with the cabbage.

Core the apple and julienne into thin slices and add to the bowl. Add the parsley, cranberries and pecan pieces.

Mix up the dressing and add to the salad. Toss to combine.

Carrot, Fennel, and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot, Fennel and Red Lentil Soup

2 Tb sunflower oil

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly

5 carrots, sliced thinly

2 leeks, sliced thinly

2 stalks lemongrass, minced

1 ½ in. large piece of ginger, grated

½ in. fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp. dried)

1-4 bird’s eye chilies, depending on heat desired (Moonrise herbs carries them)

1 c red lentils

3 quarts water

1 Tb coriander seed

1 ½ tsp cumin seed

½ tsp brown mustard seed

1 tsp black peppercorns

¼ tsp fenugreek powder

1 tsp salt

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 lemon, half juiced, the other half cut into wedges for serving

¼ c cilantro, chopped

You’ll need a mortar and pestle, a food processor, or clean coffee grinder. Otherwise, substitute pre-ground coriander, cumin, and black pepper and use the brown mustard whole.

Heat up a soup pot on medium heat with the sunflower oil. Add the fennel bulb, carrots, and leeks and simmer, stirring occasionally until soft—about 12 to 15 minutes. While cooking, peel outer layers of lemongrass, and finely chop the tender base of the stalks. Grate ginger and turmeric, and finely chop the bird’s eye chilies. Stir in lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and chilies and cook for 2 minutes. Add lentils and water, bring flame to high and bring to a boil. Drop flame to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

While soup is cooking, prepare the spice mixture. Heat a small skillet on medium flame. Add coriander seeds and gently agitate pan until you can smell them (1-3 minutes). Transfer them to a mortar and pestle or food processor, and return pan to burner. Do the same for the cumin, mustard, and black peppercorns, toasting each separately. Add fenugreek powder for a few seconds, and add along with salt to the mix. Grind ‘em up, and toss in with garlic to soup when the 30 minutes are up. Cook for 15 more minutes and add lemon juice. Salt to taste. Serve soup topped with cilantro. A lemon wedge on the side is good. This soup is also surprisingly good at room temperature.

Pizza Bases

Caramelized Onion Base

2 ailsa craig onions

1 Tb butter

leaves from 1 sprig of thyme or parsley, chopped (optional)

1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

¼ c dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onions into ¼ in. slices, and add into large saucepan along with butter and simmer over very low flame. Stir occasionally, and cook 15-25 minutes until onions turn golden and slightly browned. Add herbs and/or garlic if desired and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add wine to deglaze pan, turn off flame, and stir to remove fond (brown bits stuck to the bottom.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toppings to pair with:

Roasted golden beets, chevre, and prosciutto or walnuts

Fennel, crabapple, mushroom, and sausage or walnuts

Cream Sauce

½ c heavy whipping cream (preferably Strauss)

½ c grated pecorino romano (ideally made from sheep’s milk)

1-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer cream, pecorino, and garlic in sauce pan over very low flame. Stir frequently. Meanwhile toast optional oregano until fragrant and add along with optional red pepper flakes to mandatory white sauce. Turn off flame when cheese is incorporated (4 minutes max).

Toppings to pair with:

Broccolini, mushroom, sun dried tomato, and onion or leek

Roasted cauliflower, mushroom, leek and gruyere

Pirat & Frisée Endive Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Caramelized Leeks

Pirat & Frisée Endive Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Caramelized Leeks.

2 Tb. butter

1 leek, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 Tb coarse-grain mustard

1 Tb red-wine vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

¼ c extra-virgin olive oil

¼ c orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)

1 head pirat lettuce, chopped

1 head frisée lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

2 beets, roasted with peels removed, sliced thinly

1 fennel bulb, sliced ¼ in. or save fennel sprigs

1/3 c walnuts, toasted chopped

¼ c gorgonzola (optional)

Melt butter in a small pan, and drop flame to lowest setting. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 min. Let cool.

Mince garlic with a large heavy knife, then mash to a paste with salt using flat side of knife.

Whisk together garlic paste, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and orange juice, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Just before serving, toss greens with vinaigrette, and top with beets, fennel, caramelized leeks, walnuts, and gorgonzola if desired

Wild Rice, Fennel, and Sausage Stuffing

Wild Rice, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing

Altered from Bon Appétit, Nov 1995

3 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups wild rice (about 9 ounces), rinsed, drained

1 cup water

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1/3 pound shiitakes, de-stemmed and cut into thirds or halves

3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Combine broth, rice, 1 cup water and fennel seeds in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes. Drain.

Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to plate. Add chopped fennel bulbs, onions, and shiitakes to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes. Add rice and sausage to skillet. Sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. If serving as side dish, rewarm covered in 350°F. oven for 20 minutes.) Transfer to bowl and serve. If using as stuffing, cool completely and fill bird.