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Summer and The Way of the Fennel

I skipped CrossFit this morning because of a minor problem with my shoulder. It wouldn’t move. Not sore. Just would NOT move. It’s as if the muscles or whatever just froze like the tin man. I was a little concerned when I tried to brush my teeth one handed and had white foam dribbling everywhere but couldn’t use my arm to clean up. I guess I should stop the morning report here before I scare anybody.

Even though I didn’t leave at 5am to workout, I had my usual morning breakfast. And since it took me 20 minutes to make it one-handed, I rewarded myself with a nice rockin’ time outside with my magazine and dried up hydrangeas. Yep, summer is still wreaking havoc on our flowers. And since it was only 84* at 7am, I stayed about 15 minutes before I started sweating. Sorry…..glistening. We southern belles glisten while sitting on the front porch. I save the sweating for more enthusiastic adventures like running a lot of miles or walking down a few yards to check the mail. And getting from the parking lot to the store. If a Hover-round was cheap, I would be all over that with a clip on fan and an ice cooler strapped on with a bungee cord. Strawberry banana smoothies lined up inside just waiting.


Fennel is one of those vegetables that I just didn’t know what to do or how to cook it. It has a strong flavor, but its best feature is that it looks like something from the Muppets.


I usually slice it thin and cook with something else, usually other vegetables. But fennel was always in the background. I don’t like abolishing vegetables to the wood shack out back to be forgotten so I promised myself I would find something to do with this thing. But first, I wanted to experiment with drawing faces on it first. No reason to let this moment of delightfulness pass me by.

I read somewhere or maybe saw it on some cooking show about pairing fennel with orange. I like orange. I like orange with other savory dishes. Why not try fennel? I mean I did buy the stuff to eat. And it wasn’t cheap. Nothing in the grocery store is cheap anymore. Maybe Jello, but only the generic kind.

Braised Fennel with Orange

Take the fennel and cut off the top and frilly things so you are left with just the bulb. Cut the bulb in half. Then cut each half into quarters so you have 8 segments from 1 bulb. Keep the core intact so the quarters will stay connected.


Zest an orange and cut into 8 segments.


Cook fennel quarters on med-low about 10 minutes per side in a pan with some broth. Turn and finish cooking about 10 more minutes. Add orange zest and orange wedges and cook another 5 minutes.


Serve with orange slice and fennel fronds (the frizzy stuff that you cut off the top).


This is good with pork or fish. It’s a light dish but a non-starchy vegetable. I’m eating a lot of these kinds of meals lately trying to cut down on my processed carb intake. While this doesn’t take the place of a fluffy white potato or mac and cheese, it DOES provide an easy way to cook a new vegetable.

Although playing with it is much more fun. That’s the way of the fennel…twice the fun.


Tuesday 2nd of August 2011

I love fennel! This looks delicious. I hope your shoulder gets better :)