According to Wikipedia, fennel is a “highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses”. Its taste is similar to anise and it is perfect with sour cream and cheese. The trio gives off a blend of flavor that entices the sense of smell and the palate as well. The lemon juice also adds more zest to this delectable recipe. You can serve it chilled or warm depending on your taste. I think tofu can add some texture to this dish too. You can also put more garlic for more bite.
Fennel dip would make a perfect appetizer for parties or gatherings. A platter with different types of spreads and dips such as fennel, tapenade, white bean and parmesan dip and mushroom pate would make a great center piece for any party. Place some vegetable sticks, crostini, chips and even pita alongside it.
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed, sliced
1 small brown onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cold water
Crostini or crackers, to serve
Preheat the oven at 200C and then slightly grease a baking tray or baking dish.
Place the fennel, sliced onions and garlic on the dish and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover it with foil and roast it for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove from oven and keep warm.
Next, spread out the fennel seeds on a dry baking tray. Roast it for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes fragrant. Let it cool.
Combine the roasted fennel, onions and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the sour cream, cheese, lemon juice, two thirds of the roasted fennel seeds. Add a tablespoon of cold water. Process it for 30 seconds to one minute or until smooth. Add water if the mixture is too thick. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the dip into a bowl and sprinkle I with the remaining fennel seeds. Serve immediately with crostini or crackers.
Photo Courtesy Of: Charles Haynes