fennel

Vegetables, Fixings

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Fingerling Potatoes | www.hungryinlove.com
Platter | www.hungryinlove.com

Here's a pro tip to survive single digit New England weather - live in a tiny apartment and crank that oven! I know it's been 6 degrees in Cambridge all weekend but only because I've made necessary expeditions to the gym and the farmer's market. Otherwise I've been blissfully toasty holed up inside, using the arctic chill as an excuse to accomplish many important items on my to-do list. I successfully broke in our new-to-me vintage blanket (thanks Tuck!), watched The Sound of Music for the first time (shameful but it's true), and of course roasted a bunch of stuff.

With this spread I'm embracing the monochromatic hues that define February. I thought these vegetables might look a bit dull together but I actually think the end result of all those winter whites is quite elegant. There is one hint of sunshine - the orange zest in the vinaigrette. If you're tempted to skip this ingredient, don't. It makes everything bright and perfect.

If you're like me you didn't notice right away that this dish is both vegan and gluten-free. How about that. If you're into that sort of thing, take note. Otherwise you can just appreciate these vegetables label-free for being mighty delicious.

Fingerling Potatoes | www.hungryinlove.com
Fennel | www.hungryinlove.com
Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a side dish

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil, salt + pepper

Olive Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp (a pinch) sugar
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a baking dish, toss whole potatoes with olive oil salt and pepper. Pop in oven and set timer for 45 minutes.
  • While potatoes are baking prep the cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. For the cauliflower, remove the stem and break head into small florets. I sliced florets in half so they would lay flat on a baking sheet and be closer in shape and size to the fennel. To prep the fennel, begin by removing stalks. (Reserve some of the fronds for garnish.) Stand bulb upright and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise. For the garlic bulb simply cut into half crosswise so each clove is bisected. Lay all vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss and coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer baking sheet to oven along with potatoes. (I added the vegetables with 30 minutes to go on the timer. This worked out great. Both the potatoes and vegetables were done when the timer went off. Potatoes are done when easily pierced with a fork and the other veggies will be done when tender and nicely caramelized.)
  • While everything is roasting prep your vinaigrette.
  • In a small bowl mix all ingredients together except the salt and pepper. Depending on the olives you use, you may not need any. Taste and add seasoning to your liking.
  • Let vinaigrette sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature before serving to allow flavors to meld.
  • When potatoes and vegetables are done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a serving platter.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with olive vinaigrette.

Want new posts delivered hot + fresh to your inbox? Subscribe here.

Sea Food, Pasta

Cherrystones with Saffron + Fregola

Cherrystone Clams with Saffron + Fregola | www.hungryinlove.com

Happy Thanksgiving week, y'all! Every day I am #blessed with many things to be grateful for. Here's a sampling from this month.

1) After four(!) separate trips to the RMV I successfully had my father-in-law's low-number license plates transferred to me. Did you know people like low-number plates? I didn't know it was a thing until we so innocently said, "Sure, we'd like granddad's old plates." It was an epic adventure involving many RMV personalities. There were ogres and trolls who thwarted our mission and fairies and genies who ultimately made our wish come true. If you spot us on the road (#50517) know we earned those digits.

2) November marks my first blogiversary for this here site. By the numbers that's 36 posts, 47 recipes, ~200 hours diverted from Netflix binging, and too-many-to-count new friends. It's been such a fun hobby. Thank you to all for reading!

3) I rang in 31 on an unseasonably warm weekend with family from near and far, cupcakes delivered to my door, and a little 5K to counteract all the feasting. A success I'd say.

When you're done with all the obligatory cooking this week, have some fun and make clams in a brilliant yellow saffron sauce.  My friend and neighbor Julia at Formaggio Kitchen gave me some handy saffron-buying tips. Apparently yellow threads are filler for this very expensive spice. The good stuff will just have red threads. The more you know!

Cherrystone Clams with Saffron + Fregola | www.hungryinlove.com
Peeled Tomatoes | www.hungryinlove.com
Fegola | www.hungryinlove.com
Saffron Steeping | www.hungryinlove.com
Cherrystone Clams with Saffron + Fregola | www.hungryinlove.com
Cherrystones with Saffron + Fregola | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a first course
  • 1 dozen cherrystone clams, rinsed and scrubbed clean
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cut into small dice (reserve fronds for garnish)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 cup fregola pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided

Prep

  • Peel the tomatoes by submerging in boiling water until skin splits (about 1 min). Remove with tongs and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slide skins off and discard. Remove core and roughly chop.
  • In heavy bottomed saucepan for which you have a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped fennel, shallot, garlic, and salt. Saute for 4-6 minutes until vegetables have softened. Stir regularly taking care not to brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add wine and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cook the fregola and steep the saffron. Place saffron in a small bowl and pour in 1 cup boiling water. Let steep for at least 15 minutes. Cook fregola in salted boiling water until al dente (about 10-12 minutes). When pasta is done drain and set aside.
  • Add saffron and steeping liquid to your saucepan with the vegetables. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
  • Return saucepan to your burner and add clams. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Discard any clams that don't open.
  • Divide fregola among serving bowls and ladle clams and saffron broth on top. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

Salads

Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad

Kale, Fennel, + Celery Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Today was a win. Today I finished the very last of our wedding thank you notes. I remember reading that Emily Post's permissible window for sending thank-yous is within 3 months of the occasion. Whether Emily Post is still in charge of these things, I do not know. But since I've beat the deadline (by a full 3 weeks!) I am going to go ahead and say, yes, she is still is the beacon on all things etiquette and, yes, that is from whom I'm taking my cues. I wish Emily were here right now so I could ask if that is the correct use of 'whom'.

With the great thank-you-note project wrapped and the scent of productivity still lingering in the air I decided to keep it rolling and make this salad. I heart this salad. I was reminded today that even though I always get the slightest bit annoyed midstream by the number of steps*, the end result is totally worth it. It's hearty, perfect for winter, and can hold its own the day after. Boom. 

*Go ahead and chuckle. There aren't really that many steps at all, I know. 

Lacinto Kale | www.hungryinlove.com

I used lacinto kale (which I still don't know how to pronounce, anyone?) but any variety would do. 

Chopped Kale | www.hungryinlove.com
Fennel Bulb | www.hungryinlove.com

Imagine a plus sign hovering above this fennel bulb. Those are the planes you want to cut along, once lengthwise, once crosswise. You'll end up with 4 quarters, each with the root end still intact which makes for easy, breezy slicing.

Shaved Fennel | www.hungryinlove.com
Shaved Celery | www.hungryinlove.com

Celery: apparently good for more than mirepoix and bloody marys.

Chopped Hazelnuts | www.hungryinlove.com

Don't you just love that hazelnuts are also called filberts?

Grated Pecorino Romano | www.hungryinlove.com

This is Pecorino Romano. Parmesan works just great too.

Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad

Serves 4
  • 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 bulb fennel, shaved on mandolin (1/16 inch is the setting I use)
  • 2 stalks celery, shaved on mandolin (also 1/16)
  • 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (I have substituted almonds, walnuts, and even pepitas. Whatever you fancy!)
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Prep

De-stem and shop the kale. Shave the fennel and celery. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic, about 3-4 minutes. Roughly chop nuts. Grate the cheese. Toss all ingredients together until well coated. Finish and salt and pepper. If I'm in the mood for heat (which is pretty much always) I like to serve with big pinches of red pepper flakes.

You can serve immediately but I think this salad is at its best when its dressed and left to sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the rough kale to mellow just slightly.