If you follow this blog, you know I’m newly obsessed with fennel, the aromatic European plant with feathery green leaves–related to the parsley family–that looks like a cross between bok choy and celery. Sort of.
Anyway, I had no idea what to do with the stuff when it first arrived in my Spacegirl Organics produce box, so I got creative. (You may remember my savory carmelized fennel recipe or my sweet and tangy fennel and orange salad recipe). Now that I’ve got some fennel experience under my belt, I’ve become obsessed with incorporating it into as many “plain” things as possible.
I recently had a great date with fellow Mission Marketers Brian & Jenn Selke during their annual visit from California. Not wanting to dissapoint their west coast taste buds, I suggested our favorite burger joint, B&B Junction. (As an aside, B&B is the FIRST place I felt comfortable ordering off the kids’ menu for Samantha due to their high quality standards which include grass-fed hormone and antibiotic-free beef and locally-sourced ingredients). In looking at their menu, I noticed that B&B offered a fennel-topped burger that featured bleu cheese. Not surprisingly, it was delicious. And also not surprisingly, I decided then and there to re-create my own version of a fennel burger.
Other than B&B, the best place to get a burger in town is our place; Paul makes the most amazing, mouth-watering, can’t-wait-to-finish-the-last-bite-so-I-can-get-another-one burgers I’ve ever had. We only use Beyond Organic green-fed, green-finished beef because it’s packed with fat-burning CLA, balanced omega-3s, and all the nutritious goodness of the Beyond Organic ranch land. But now that I’ve topped these burgers with sauteed fennel, I may never eat another plain burger again! Rather than bleu, we piled on our Beyond Organic raw cheddar cheese because of the sharp and tangy taste. We served our burgers with a side of sweet baby broccoli broiled in the oven. Here is a very simple way to enjoy a gourmet burger in your own home (with a sweet baby broccoli recipe to follow).
Green-Fed Burger with Fennel Recipe
- Grill burgers as your normally would. (Paul makes small 1/8 pound patties and seasons them with chopped onion, worcestershire, garlic, salt/pepper, or whatever he’s feeling in the mood to use, and then grills them over an open flame until just barely pink in the center, adding a slice of cheddar during the last three minutes of grilling.)
- Meanwhile, cut the ends and long stalks off of your fennel and remove the hard core.
- Slice into thin slices and add to a medium-hot stainless steel pan with 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil.
- Spread out your fennel pieces so there’s no overlap, sprinkle with some pink himalayan crystal salt and fresh cracked pepper, and let them cook 3-4 minutes, allowing them to brown but not burn.
- Flip them all over with tongs and repeat the above step.
- When done, top your burger with fennel and enjoy.
Broiled Sweet Baby Broccoli Recipe
Another treat in this week’s Spacegirl box, this baby broccoli is much more fun and lower maintenance than traditional broccoli because it requires no cutting and chopping other than to remove the ends. We chose to broil ours instead of boil it (a lot of difference in that one letter “r”!) because we like to get the leaves and florets a little on the crispy side. If you’re using a high mineral salt like pink himalayan and a healthy oil like coconut, you can enjoy the salty deliciousness guilt-free!
- Clean and trim broccoli so that no rough ends are left on your stalks.
- Place stalks–not touching–in an oiled pan and sprinkle with pink himalayan crystal salt and cracked pepper.
- Broil on low heat for 6-8 minutes, flip with tongs, and continue broiling until you reach your desired level of done-ness (we like ours on the firm side so we only cooked them for another couple minutes).
- Remove from oven, allow to cool, and serve!