Last week, we tried fresh fennel for the first time. I was very suspicious of this vegetable and avoided it for quite some time because it smells exactly like black licorice, which I hate! Finally, I saw this recipe on a blog, and it inspired me to give fennel a shot. I also liked that it used rutabaga, which I never really know what to do with.
Luckily, the fennel did not taste like licorice. I tried all 3 parts, and the stems were the only part I didn’t really like. It has a stronger taste than the bulb and tiny fronds. Honestly, I didn’t think it was all that noticeable in this dish, but I’m all for bulking up meals with extra veggies. I am glad I tried it, although I will probably only buy this when I find it at the produce markets. It was $4 for one bulb at Publix, which I think is a bit much, but I did see it a few days later for less than half that price at a local market.
I served this recipe for dinner, with chicken sausage on the side. Then a couple days later, I tried the blogger’s suggestion of adding a fried egg on top and having it for breakfast with the chicken sausage chopped up and mixed in, and it was even better that way.
The original recipe was about 250 calories per serving, but I added onion and sweet bell pepper and used more rutabaga and less fennel, so my version will be somewhat different. Also, I tried using less oil, but was having a hard time getting the rutabaga to cook enough that way even though I boiled it longer, so I probably added the full 2 tbsp by the time it was done.
Fennel, Rutabaga, and White Bean Hash
Adapted from Cara’s Cravings Fennel, Rutabaga, and White Bean Hash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5-2 lbs peeled, diced rutabaga
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1/2 large orange bell pepper, diced
1 fennel bulb, with fronds
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
salt (needs a decent amount to bring out the flavors)
- Boil diced rutabaga in a large pot of lightly salted water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet to medium-high. Add the diced onion and peppers and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the rutabaga to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 25 minutes.
- In the same pan you used to boil the rutabaga, boil more lightly salted water.
- Cut the fennel bulb into cubes. Dice about 1/4 cup of the tiny green fronds and set aside. Discard the stems.
- Peel and dice the carrots. Add the fennel and carrots to the pot and boil for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Once the rutabaga pieces are tender inside and golden on the outside, add the diced fennel and carrots, garlic, beans, and salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes more. Finally, add the parsley and reserved fennel fronds.