One of my goals in writing this blog is to learn about new ingredients and how to incorporate them into everyday cooking. I have always passed fennel in the supermarket but never looked twice. I have not even tasted fennel before, much less cooked with it. In fact, the only knowledge I have of this curious vegetable is a vague warning from my mother to be careful not to use too much or the liquorish taste will overpower the dish. This scared me, but then again, I am the type of person that runs towards a challenge, not away from it. The next time I passed the fennel in the market, into my shopping cart it went.
With my mom’s heading in mind, I really wanted to find a recipe that would introduce to the product: feature it but not make it the star of the show. Googling, I stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s site. Jamie Oliver is best known for his TV personality, starring in shows like The Naked Chef and Jamie’s Food Revolution. Admittedly, I have never watched these shows, but I soon found out that the recipes are really good and his Couscous with Fennel and Oranges recipe was exactly what I was searching for. The fennel and oranges flavored the couscous in a mild yet interesting flavor that gave depth to the couscous without taking away for the characteristics of the couscous itself. To be honest, my only criticism for this dish is I like my food to be on the spicy side and this dish had a mild subtle taste to it. I would not change the recipe but I would make sure that I pair it with a protein that is on the more Spicer side, but not too overpowering of course. I actually serve with BBQ tofu which was a nice combination (recipe coming soon). And guess what? I actually like the taste to fennel. I am looking forward to creating another dish that
Source: Adapted from www.jamieoliver.com
- 1 cup whole-wheat couscous;
- 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil;
- 1 orange
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced;
- 2 onions, finely chopped;
- 2 large carrots shopped
- 1/2 fennel bulb, chopped;
- ½ cup of sliced almonds
- salt and pepper
1. Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over it. Stir, cover, and let it stand 10 minutes.
2. Chop the onions, garlic, carrots and fennel finely.
3. In a pan, warm 1 tbsp olive oil and fry the carrots, onions, garlic, and fennel until soft.
4. Add in the sliced almonds and heat for about a minute.
5. Stir the couscous into the vegetables mixture.
6. Squeeze the juice out of the orange into the mixture.
7. Season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for 5 more minutes.