The lovely, meaty, pure white fennel bulbs can be used in so many ways: from raw (wonderful in salads) to steamed, boiled, braised, sautéed and au gratin, for example with a simple béchamel sauce enriched with lots of nutmeg and melted, golden and bubbly Parmigiano.
They're also absolutely perfect for frying. Fennel stimulates the digestive process so the heaviness of this preparation is gently compensated by the amazing qualities of this beautiful vegetable.
When cutting fennel to make "cutlets" you loose a bit of the bulbs, since not all of the slices manage to stay attached to the core. When that happens, it's no big deal: you can use the "loose bits" for salads, smoothies and other preparations like I do.
The nice, big slices are then cooked, dipped in beaten egg, coated with bread-crumbs and herbs and fried.
They're great just out of the frying pan, when they're still hot, but you can prepare them in advance and keep them warm in the oven at 90°C.
If you prefer to avoid deep-frying, shallow fry them in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil. Like this they turn out nice too.
Some of my music to go with this dish. :)
Cotolette di finocchio
3 fennel bulbs
2 eggs (3-4 if you use small organic eggs)
1 small bunch of fresh oregano (or marjoram) and sage (dried is OK too)
sunflower oil for deep frying or e.v. olive oil/coconut oil for shallow frying
salt and black pepper
Wash the fennel, remove the green stalks and cut the bulbs in slices. For this dish, use only the beautiful slices with all the leaves still attached to the core.
Cook the slices in boiling salted water and drain well.
Beat the eggs with salt, pepper and the chopped herbs (leaves only, no twigs).
Dip the slices of fennel in the beaten eggs and then roll them in the bread-crumbs.
Make sure that as many chopped herbs as possible stick to them too.
Deep-fry (or shallow fry in less oil) until golden brown and drain well on kitchen paper.