Fennel is one of the most neglected and least known vegetables. I don’t think I have ever purchased fennel without being asked by the clerk at the checkout counter what it is. Even the produce manager has asked me the ways it can be prepared and used. Fennel is very much like celery but with a subtle anise or licorice flavor.
I had soup in mind when I set out to make this dish but it also serves well as a textured gravy or sauce.
It started with crushed fennel seeds and white poppy seeds in a pan with mustard oil.
Next in the pan were celery, fennel, carrots, sweet onion & kosher salt.
I intended to add whole dried kefir lime leaves at this point for flavor but evidently I had ground them all into powder, so I added the powder.
I added water and let the vegetables cook under a lid for several minutes.
When the vegetables had softened a bit I turned off the heat, put some of them into a blender and blended them to a smooth purée with a little coconut milk.
I blended in more kefir lime powder, fresh French tarragon, fresh basil and a few fennel fronds.
I added the puréed mixture back into the pan with the other vegetables. Faye voiced her approval after tasting a small sample, so I transferred it all into a jar and refrigerated it overnight.
Breakfast this morning was oven roasted potatoes and onions with Fennel, Carrots & Celery Sauce.
The sweet onion was blanched in boiling water and the baby potatoes were parboiled.
The halved potatoes and onions were brushed with oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper.