Thursday, January 31, 2013

Too Simple to be a Recipe

In late winter, fennel fronds frizz out in the humidity, rising like green clouds from the deep roots of the plants. A friend from Italy told me what to do with them.

Harvest a big bunch and rinse it off in the kitchen. Toss the greens in a pot of boiling water and boil them until the thicker stems are tender. Dump them into a colander to drain, rinse out the pot, refill it, and set it to boil for the pasta. Once the water boils, add the pasta to cook.

In the meantime, once the greens have cooled enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid and chop them finely. In a frying pan, heat a glug of olive oil and add a few anchovies, minced garlic, and chilies. Add as many anchovies, garlic, and chilies as you think will fit your tastes. "Melt" the anchovies in the olive oil, and after a minute or so, add the chopped fennel fronds to fry in the fragrant pan. Cook the mixture for a couple minutes for the flavors to mingle.

After the pasta has finished cooking, drain it, then dump it into the pan with the fennel mixture and toss the pile together.

To gild the lily, serve with a sprinkle of bread crumbs toasted in olive oil, and if you want to intensify the fennel flavor, a shake of ground fennelseed or dried fennel blossoms (aka "fennel pollen").

I can't stop eating the stuff.


Pasadena Adjacent said...

Really? good? really?

Christina said...

PA: Really, really good.