I receieved the inspiration for this recipe from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. I wanted a corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, but boiled cabbage just didn’t interest me. This substitution worked pretty well, if I do say so.
- 1-2 Shallots
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Leeks
- 1 bulb of Fennel
- 5-6 Celery stalks
- 1/2 to 1 cup White Wine
- Optional: Fresh Fennel fronds, Thyme, Dill, Chervil and/or Parsley to taste, chopped
- Finely mince the Shallots. Trim the roots and green leaves from the Leeks (saving the leaves for stock), split each leek down the middle like a log, slice very thinly, and then wash thoroughly. Slice the Fennel bulb very thinly into roughly one-inch lengths, using whatever technique you prefer (fennel can prove a puzzling veggie to chop). Slice the stalks of Celery very thinly across the grain. Wash the leeks, fennel and celery thoroughly, then leave to drain.
- Melt the butter (vegans can substitute margarine) over medium-low heat, then add the shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the white wine, stir, turn up the heat until the liquid bubbles, then let it reduce for 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining vegetables, stir, turn the heat back down to medium-low, and saute gently for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the optional herbs. If the vegetables have absorbed all of the liquid, you may serve them as is. If they have not, serve over rice or mashed potatoes.
- Slicing thinly is the critical detail; try for 16 slices per inch, but at minimum 8.
- This probably works best as a side dish for lamb, roast beef, corned beef or ham.
- Powdered fennel seed is a nice option.
- Next time, I intend to add 1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced apples. Should complement the fennel very well.
Vonn Scott Bair