Recently, I made Orange Braised Fennel to accompany a lovely meal reminiscent of childhood - salmon cakes. Obviously, beyond the fennel was the orange juice. I sprung for a tiny bottle of freshly squeezed - worth every penny.
Once quartered and cored, a nice brown crust adds caramel-y flavor.
Juice, a bit of wine and slow even heat to render the fennel silky smooth and thicken the sauce.
It was truly delicious.
The essence of spring when paired with asparagus. I smashed the new potatoes and topped them with cottage cheese like my mom used to do.
The sophisticated me likes to think the fennel and asparagus elevated this humble meal.
The real me doesn't care. It included everything I love on a plate - memory, comfort, freshness and flavor.
If your sophisticated self needs a "just" side dish - make the fennel. Your real self will love it, too.