Week 12 One Straw Farm CSA brought cantaloupe, red tomatoes, green peppers, red leaf lettuce, zebra tomatoes, corn, thai basil, and sugar snaps—a lovely variety that can be used any number of ways throughout the coming week. This week’s featured recipe, however, will hearken back to an ingredient from prior weeks that might be proliferating in your fridge’s bottom bin. Hint: Thomas Jefferson said of it: “The ______ is beyond every other vegetable, delicious. It greatly resembles the largest size celery, perfectly white, and there is no vegetable that equals it in flavor … indeed I prefer it to every other vegetable, or to any fruit.” If you guessed fennel, you’re right—it’s a fennel fest!
Fennel Ice Cream
Ready in 4 hours; serves 6
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1–2 tablespoons anisette, pernod, or ouzo (optional)
1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
1. In a double boiler, heat half and half along with the sliced fennel bulb. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. When the half and half is hot, slowly add about a cup to the egg yolk sugar mixture, whisking constantly to temper the egg yolks so they do not scramble. Now pour the egg yolk mixture into the double boiler with the remaining hot fennel-flavored half and half. Heat over gently simmering water until the custard mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.
2. Next strain the mixture into a metal bowl, pressing down on the fennel so as not to loose any liquid. Discard the fennel. Add the cream, liqueur and chopped fennel tops. Thoroughly chill the custard in an ice bath or in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
3. Finally, freeze the ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
From Art of Food
Also, from theKitchn (one of our “go-tos”), read Cooking with Fennel: Tips for Using the Whole Head (Don’t Toss Those Fronds!).
And, from A Veggie Venture, Running Round-Up: Fennel.