Friday, November 16, 2007

Fennel: creature of the night

I'm having a strange bout of insomnia tonight. Perhaps the combined result of a strong coffee at 3pm and reading too much Sylvia Plath. I thought a post about fennel would be appropriate, since this eerie vegetable strikes me as an inhabitant of the night. It has something to do with its wavy limbs that end in countless wiggly tentacles waiting to grab your ankles in the dark. It's probably safest to keep your fennel in the crisper. If you leave it out on your kitchen counter, I imagine it might raise its bushy head when the clock strikes twelve and start creeping about the house, poking around in your underwear drawer and reading the most embarrassing entries in your journal.

I've done some beautiful things with fennel roasted with wine and chicken broth in the oven but I can't recall the recipe at the moment. Ever since I learned that it's okay to eat fennel without cooking it, I've been boring and just chopped the bulbs up for salad. I bet Erin has some good ideas for fennel. While I usually don't like licorice-flavored things (pastis, certain jujubes, black Twizzlers), I think the hint of licorice in fennel is delightful without being overpowering.

Here is a nice line about Foeniculum vulgare from Wikipedia : "Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Mouse Moth and the Anise Swallowtail." I guess it's actually an herb, not a vegetable, but it's weird anyway.


andrea! said...

I agree with your comments about the mystical fennel plant.

I am slightly disturbed by the image of fennel "poking around in your underwear drawers," however.

Thought of the day:
There is an important "r" that stands between panty and pantry.

katd said...

Hear hear! Let's give some respec to the "r"!