It all started with these two gorgeous globe artichokes. I bought them at a local market a few weeks ago along with a large bulb of fennel. I’d been waiting for the first artichokes—a sure sign of spring—to appear. As I wanted to make a recipe in Extraordinary Vegan for braising artichokes and fennel with saffron and preserved lemon. Finally having all the ingredients at hand, I made that recipe for dinner that very night.
Preparing the artichokes required removing all their leaves, most of their stem and their hairy choke. By the second artichoke, I decided that the labor of love required to prepare artichokes was best reserved for only the most special of occasions. So to spare you the time and frustration, they’ve been replaced with carrots as a much simpler alternative. Braised Fennel & Carrots w/ Preserved Lemon—an easy and beautiful dish for spring.
“The fennel is beyond every other vegetable delicious…indeed I preferred it to every other vegetable, or to any fruit.” Thomas Jefferson
One taste of fennel and it’s easy to agree with Thomas Jefferson. Resembling licorice-flavored celery, fennel is delightfully crisp and crunchy and rich in vitamins A and C. If you haven’t enjoyed fennel in a while, wait no longer. Fennel season begins in the fall and lasts through early spring. So fennel is still at its best for at least another month.
Combining fennel alongside more familiar carrots provides an easy introduction to fennel, the “beyond every other vegetable delicious.”
Have you yet made a batch of preserved lemons? Definitely worth preparing some asap, as each batch takes about 5 weeks to complete its fermentation.
BTW, I’ll be demonstrating how easy it is to make preserved lemons in the upcoming Fermentation Workshop on April 26th. You’ll also get to enjoy a most scrumptious Hummus w/ Preserved Lemon.
Saturday, April 26th from 10:30-2:30
- Gain a basic understanding of the traditional art of fermentation.
- Learn to prepare a variety of beverages, appetizers, condiments, pickles and a dessert.
- Take home a jar of White Kimchi to ferment at home.
- Discover how easy it is to incorporate fermented foods in your diet.
- Enjoy lunch and sampling of everything we make.
- Receive a folder of recipes and handouts on the art of fermentation.
To reserve your seat at the table
Send me a comment in the “Leave a Reply” box below or email me: Janice@EverydayHealthyEverydayDelicious.com
Inspired by a recipe from Viviane Farre in Food 52
An attractive contrast of colors and textures. Preserved lemon, strips of orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice heighten the flavors. A light and beautiful side dish or entrée for your spring table. More good news: any leftover Braised Fennel & Carrots w/ Preserved Lemon makes a delicious cold salad.
Makes 4-6 servings
Total time 35 minutes
1 pound carrots (unpeeled if organic)
1 large fennel bulb
1 organic orange for both zest and juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon salt
Half a dozen twists freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup water
½ preserved lemon, peel finely diced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds
- Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Slice each half into ¼-inch wide long diagonals to equal about 5 cups.
- Trim the ends of the fennel bulb. Halve, core and cut the fennel into 1/8-inch slices to equal about 3 cups.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of just the zest (the colored part) of the orange.
- Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil. When hot stir in the carrots, fennel, strips of orange zest and fennel seeds. Stir-fry for 3 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with the fresh orange juice and water. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until the vegetables are crisp tender.
- Uncover the pan. Remove the strips of orange zest. Stir in the diced preserved lemon peel. Raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until all the liquid evaporates.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the fennel fronds. Serve hot as an entrée or side vegetable. Serve cold as a salad.