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Crispy Fennel


Serves 8 to 10

  1. 2 medium to large fennel bulbs, trim the stalks and cut off 1/8 inch from bottom of bulb

  2. kosher salt

  3. 2 large eggs

  4. Freshly ground black pepper

  5. 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs

  6. 2 TBS freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese

  7. extra-virgin olive oil; enough to have 1/4 to 1/2  inch oil in pan for frying

  1. Stand fennel bulb up and cut in half. In same direction, cut wedges from each half that are about 1/2 inch thick.  You don’t want wedges too think, but must be enough to remain attached from bottom, even if it’s slight.

  2. Bring a 4-quart saucepan filled with water to a high boil.  Boil briskly until the fennel is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Check for doneness with a fork, should be slightly tender.  Drain well and set aside to cool.

  3. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a few pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper.

  4. In another shallow bowl or plate, mix breadcrumbs with the parm cheese.

  5. Dip fennel wedges 1 at a time in the beaten egg, fully coating. Then lift out with a fork, drain off egg, and dredge in the breadcrumbs, patting a little to adhere and coating them well. You want to keep the wedges compact and as little splay as possible. Set the wedges on a tray and continue until all are coated.

  6. Put 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a 10-inch sauté pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Test the temperature of the oil with a pinch of breadcrumbs.  Should sizzle!  Add wedges to cook comfortably in a single layer, not overcrowding the pan. Cook until well browned, turning once with tongs, about 1 – 2 minutes per side. Place the wedges in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Continue frying until all the wedges are cooked. Serve immediately or place in oven in a single layer, uncovered, at 175 degrees until ready to serve.


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