We love Fennel! Once difficult to find in the local grocery store, now you can find it almost everywhere. Usually lurking between the cabbage and bokchoy in the produce section, fennel is often thought of as a vegetable, but its actually a herb.

It’s not only the crispy crunchy parts of the fennel that we enjoy, but the dill fronds are great for garnish, too. Just like dill, the wispy light ends make a perfect addition to the top of this yummy seafood stew – or in a salad as a luscious green.

Did you know fennel contains an abundant amount of antioxidants? Rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides just to name a few. Most important is its volatile oil anethole– In animal studies, it has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer.

This recipe is a little longer than the ones we typically share – but, OH, its worth it!

Spanish Rice

Serves 8 – 12 Depending on size of ramekin or mold

2 TB Olive Oil

2 Cups Valencia or Paella Rice

1 Chopped Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, minced or grated

4 Cups Veggie Stock

1 TB of Tomato Paste

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

Step One In a large stockpot, brown the rice in olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant. Stir in the paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step Two In another pot bring the stock to a boil. When boiling, add it to the original pot and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook about 15 – 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

Step Three Srpay a small mold or ramekin with non-stick spray. Pack the rice into the ramekin and turn over onto a plate.

Provencal Tomato Seafood Stew

Serves 6 – 8

1 Large Red Onion, Chopped

1 Large Red Bell Pepper Chopped

1 Head Fennel Chopped, fronds reserved

4 TBs Olive Oil

¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper

½ Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Sea Salt, plus more to taste

3 Cloves Garlic, chopped or grated

8 Large Ripe Tomatoes Chopped with all their juices, (or Fire Roasted Canned Tomatoes)

2 Cups Veggie or Fish Stock

1 LB White Fish (Cod, Halibut or other)

1 LB Medium Shrimp

½ LB Calamari (Cleaned & in Rings)

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley

¼ Cup Chopped Basil

1 TB Lemon Zest

Lemon Wedges

Step One In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the onion, red pepper and fennel in the olive oil, with the turmeric, peppers and salt until wilted and soft.

Step Two Add in two thirds of the grated garlic and cook until fragrant – about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook and stir for 4-5 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add in the fish and shrimp and simmer until opaque. Add in the calamari and cook until just warm – about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

Step Three Stir the parsley, basil lemon zest into the stew. Garnish with lemon and fennel fronds.

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