FENNEL AND PEAS
This is one of my favourite combinations and it always brings me back to my childhood. My grandmother would make this when fresh peas was in season, sending us to pick wild fennel along the path behind our house. I remember shelling what, at the time, looked like a mountain of pods, peas flying everywhere, us eating tons of them before they even hit the bowl.
This is a great spring dish, delicious paired with any kind of fish or shrimp, but also with chicken or grilled meats.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:
1 medium size fennel bulb
2 - 2 1/2 cups of peas (shelled if fresh, you can also use frozen)
1 cup snap peas (if using)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup white wine
3-4 tablespoons crème frâiche (or sour cream)
Remove outer layer from fennel, cut the top off, then wash and slice into about 1/4 inch slices. Reserve fennel fronds (green lacy tops).
In a sautè pan large enough to hold fennel slices in one layer, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add fennel slices, salt and pepper and cook on one side until lightly browned, then turn over and when the other side is lightly browned, add garlic and green onion. Stir gently for a minute, then add 1/4 cup white wine and a splash of stock. Cook for a minute or so, then cover with a lid and let it slowly braise on low until soft (about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size). Check while cooking and add more stock if necessary.
When fennel is soft, pour in the peas and snap peas. Stir gently and cook for few minutes until both are done, it doesn't take long at all, snap peas should still be crispy.
Check for seasoning, stir in crème frâiche (or put in on top and mix it in at the table) and serve topped with fennel fronds.