At least winter in Auckland is ... green. We had lots of rain and veggies in the garden are growing so slowly that I actually think that some have gone to a complete stand-by. So yes, it is more broccolini and bok choy for us, fortunately I also have a few herbs, including chives, and my first Florence fennels. Only two were big enough to pick, certainly bigger than those 'bambino' fennels I see in the supermarkets here in New Zealand, but not as big as the ones I used to get in the markets in Italy. I had to find a way to make them go ... further! So I decided to cook them with bok choy, hoping that the strong fennel taste would take over.
Go Further Fennels
Surprisingly enough it worked! I washed and cut the 2 fennels and 1 bok choy and cook them in a pan with just a little butter, then I added some vegetable stock, covered them with a lid and let them simmer on very low for quite a long time. About one hour. Slow cooking is best with fennel (unless you eat them raw), they have to become really really soft, and the bok choy kind of took in the good flavours too.
Fusilli with Chive Sauce
I like cooking fusilli with chive sauce, this is an example. Just chives, feta, maybe a few nuts, cooking water from the pasta, and olive oil. If the feta is salty you don't need to add salt. Chop the chives before placing them in the blender or food processor with the other ingredients: if you leave them long they will take forever to blend. To top the pasta I used a few broccolini quickly cooked in a pan with garlic, salt and olive oil. A simple but filling lunch, and then back into the green bush.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©