Monday, April 25, 2011

Fenouilloise and favas

It is has been a cold and unusually wet spring here, with some short sunny interruptions, while Paris is sweltering with hot tropical winds.odd.odd....
So the other day, when we decided to put the heat back in the house , I felt like a hot soup, hopefully for one last time. I had 3 heads of fennel on hand, and it seems like the right ingredient for it. Fennel is a popular vegetable in France, called fenouil, and you are most likely to find it under two incarnations: roasted with fish, or in salads. But rarely in soups. Which is a shame since it is : divine, absolutely divine.
When fennel cooks, it releases it sweetness and delicate flavor like you have never experienced it.When blended, it has a the color of Vichyssoise, and even though it has no dairy or potato in it, it tastes so rich and delicate., you cannot believe it. Just a few ingredients, and the flavor shines through.On a warm day, you can also serve it cold, like a Vichyssoise....

Fenouilloise for 2

3 small heads of organic fennel ( discard the fronds, but keep a couple for garnish), diced
1 big shallot, cut finely
1 Tbsp of butter
1 cube of Rapunzel organic vegetable bouillon

melt butter in soup pot, add shallot and brown slightly to release the aroma, add your fennel and let it sweat for a couple of minutes , tossing it and coating it with the butter and shallots, add 2 cups of water and the bouillon cube.cook on medium heat, partially covered for 20 minutes or until fennel is soft. cool slightly and blend.No salt is necessary if you used the salted bouillon. grind a dash of freshly ground pepper to finish it off. add your frond for garnish.

One evening, the sun finally pierced through, warming up the kitchen.A spring salad was in order. I had cooked a big bag of fava beans which turned out to fill just one bowl. just enough for a salad.I have to admit that I loved my app" how to cook everything" by Mark Bittman. It is so easy to find ideas for recipes and they are always spot I typed fava and up came a recipe that I altered a bit ,given my ingredients at hand, but basically followed the core of the recipe: mint, lemon zest,garlic.... how can you go wrong ?

Spring salad

1 lb of fava beand ( blanch the beans, when cool, remove the thick skin)
mix of heart of romaine and arugula
1 lemon( zest half the lemon first, then squeeze to get the juice)
1 head of green garlic cut finely
half a bunch of mint, cut finely as well
salt and pepper
olive oil
pecorino cheese

make your vinaigrette by mixing your salt and pepper with 1 Tbsp of lemon juice,olive oil, lemon zest, green garlic, minced mint.add your salad greens,your favas and grate as much as pecorino as you like. I like a lot of it.