Fennel is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many ways: caramelized, in risotto, braised, as a salad, or deep fried as in this recipe. It has a nice flavor that reminds us of aniseed. The Italian way of deep frying fennel is to parboil it and then deep fry it breaded with breadcrumbs and parmigiano. Finocchi dorati are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and the lovely fennel flavor is accentuated. This is great as a side dish to meat such as this bone-in veal rib eye (about which I will post tomorrow). I parboiled the fennel sous-vide, but if you don’t have sous-vide equipment you can simply steam or parboil in water. The advantage of sous-vide is that no flavor is lost and that the fennel will be tender but firm to the bite.
1 or more eggs, beaten
freshly grated parmigiano
vegetable oil for deep frying
Cut the bulb in halves vertically.
If not using sous-vide, parboil or steam for about 5 minutes or until the fennel is tender but still firm to the bite.
Set up an ‘assembly line’. First dip each piece of fennel in flour and turn it around to coat on all sides. Shake off excess flour. Dip into beaten eggs, coating on all sides and shaking of excess egg. Finally dip into breadcrumbs, coat on all sides and shake off excess breadcrumbs. Arrange the breaded fennel on a plate in a single layer.