This recipe is tasty, but more interestingly, it enacts a sort of defamiliarization [not that fennel is really that familiar to begin with--as my friend Myer suggested on a previous post, fennel is rather "queer"]. In this trio, fennel and miso become nearly unrecognizable as their old selves. I used a rather strong, salty-cheesy miso (Cold Mountain Miso's Kyoto Red), but by the end, it was simply mellow and sweet, like the filling of a buttery pastry or something. Indeed, because fennel tastes like / is related to licorice, the orange zest sort of throws you into the realm of gingerbread.
After 30 minutes of baking, the fennel was practically buttery and melty. I didn't use very much orange zest--less than 1/4 the surface area of an orange--and it was plenty. I served it over a bed of lemon-ginger kale (canola oil, garlic, ginger, kale, tamari, lemon juice), and the chewiness and very bright lemoniness of the kale balanced the melty sweetness of the fennel, despite the fact that both had citrus in them.
Any ideas for what to do with all the leftover fennel fronds?
Miso Glazed Fennel
(adapted from seaweed snacks)
2 med/small fennel root or 1 large root
1 heaping TB miso
1 tsp earth balance
zest of an orange
InstructionsPreheat oven to 375*. Wash and slice fennel into medium thickness slices. Place in oiled baking dish.
Scatter little chunks of earth balance and miso on top of fennel and toss. Sprinkle with orange zest. Bake covered at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Serve over greens.