Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Great Veggie Challenge

Welcome!  Come on down!  You are the next contestant on "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT AND WHY WOULD I WANT TO EAT IT???" 
The All New Great Fenner-Williamson Vegetable Challenge
Every week we will be highlighting a new vegetable in our never ending challenge to find something to eat that isn't a carrot because that is why diets don't work.  You get bored and annoyed with carrots after awhile. 
Sure they are cute little baby carrots at first all sweet and crunchy but after you have eaten like 3,583,921 dang baby carrots thye just aren't that terrific anymore.
So you go hunting.....
Be Wary Wary Quiet
I'm hunting......
Interesting, obscure, potentially tasty NON CARROT VEGETABLES
First you find a likely hunting ground
I like Vons on 40th St West, Albertsons on 20th St West or Trader Joes in Palmdale.
It all depends on my mood. 
You don your hunting gear.  I like to 'borrow' a yellow flourescent safety vest from work and a hard hat.
Don't forget your camera
And you head into the store. 
Evil store marketing people put the cookies in the direct path of the produce section.  It is no accident people.  They are EVIL. 
Dont stop in front of the sugar free pasteries---- those posers... just hurry on past all those lucious chocolate brownies........  SHAKE IT OFF!!!!!!  Picture those brownies stuck to your butt.  That's right... keep moving.
Until you reach the produce.  For now stroll past the fruits-- those we will leave for another day.  Scan the organic section.......  Are we feeling superior?  Do we need to define ourselves by the Produce Caste System that is Organic Produce?  No, we do not.  Do you know why?  
It is simple.
Because the stuff we are likely to buy is going to taste like poop.  And you do not need to spend extra money on it.  Not this trip.  If you discover that you love it then come back and get the good stuff.  Chances are you are going to be trying to find a charitable way to describe it.  You will use words like "It has an interesting texture", "What a pretty color!", "That is such a vegetable!" but what you will really be thinking is "I am never eating this again", "This is NOT going into the dinner rotation", "PEOPLE BUY THIS ON PURPOSE"?
First up:  Fennel.  In the store it was called Anise so I looked it up:  Although they share a similar taste profile—reminiscent of black licorice—fennel and anise are two different plants. The botanical name of anise is Pimpinella anisum while the botanical name of fennel is Foeniculum vulgare. Both anise and fennel belong to the Apiaceae family.In addition to the fact that they share a similar flavor, what often creates confusion among these two plants/foods is that fennel is often referred to as anise. Since the whole plant (bulb, stalks, fronds) of fennel is consumed while it is usually just the seeds from the anise plant that are eaten, if you see a vegetable-like plant called "anise," chances are that it is actually fennel.
Now you are schooled.  Here is my lovely assistant, Chanel, introducing you to the Fennel.

Then I looked up how to prepare the Fennel (who was masquarading as Anise in Albertsons-- cheeky veggie isn't she?) and I discovered that I should chop off her head and quarter her bulb then toss with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar and roast in the oven.
This is what it looked like when I was pretty much convinced it was done.
And now, for the results:
It had a texture rather like an onion.
It was very pretty before I cut it up.
It did have an interesting licorce after taste
I am glad we tried it though it will not be entering into the dinner rotation at this time
It had a good beat, and I could really dance to it.

Next Up:  Rapini


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is that the Fenner Fennel?