Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fried Fennel with Herb Aioli

For the third time this month, Garden Chef Christina Curry was challenged to feature fennel.  She’s already braised it and used it in salad and slaw.  What’s next?  Crispy fried fennel with an herb aioli sauce!

Chef Christina harvested fennel and mint from the Edible Garden.

She prepared a light batter for the shaved fennel using milk and then dusted the fennel in a mixture of flour and cornstarch.  She added cornstarch for extra crispiness and then removed the excess by shaking the fennel in a colander.

A tangy herb aioli with equal amounts of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt was the perfect topping.  As a side tip for those watching their sodium, she suggested using lemon as a flavor enhancer.  Enjoy!

Fried Fennel with Herb Aioli

1 lb fennel, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch
salt & pepper
oil for frying

Place the fennel in a medium size bowl and cover with milk.  In a large freezer bag or paper bag, combine the flour, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tsp pepper.  Remove the fennel from the bowl and place in the flour bag.  Close the bag and shake until all of the fennel is coated.  Shake off the excess flour mix and fry until crispy.  Remove from the oil and place directly on a paper towel.  Season with additional salt immediately.  Serve with Herb Aioli.

Herb Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
salt & pepper, to season

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  To prepare by hand, finely chop the garlic, parsley, and mint.  In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt and lemon juice.  Add the chopped ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

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