I have a love-hate relationship with our CSA.
I love knowing that I am supporting local farmers. I love knowing exactly where my food comes from and communicating regularly with the people who are growing it. I love knowing that every week I pick-up our share, we are eating food at its peak of freshness. I love learning more about foods that are not only “seasonal” but “monthly.”
So where does the love-hate part come in? Well, that has to do with picking up items I have never cooked with and don’t have a clue what to do with. Whether or not I’m in the mood for a cooking challenge, coming home with an unrecognizable item guarantees that I’ll be experimenting in the kitchen, hoping for the best. So far, some of these foods have included: Kohlrabi, Collard Greens and Hubbard Squash.
And the newest addition: fennel.
I remember trying fennel once, years ago. It was served raw, on an appetizer plate, and I bit into it without thinking twice (yup, I usually go for foods without even knowing what they are; 99% of the time I like it and happily keep eating). Well, I wasn’t prepared for the pungent taste and once I figured out what it was, I kept my distance away from fennel.
Until it showed up in my CSA box. At first I was a bit hesitant and considered not even taking it home with me. But after a few quick recipe searches, I learned that the flavor completely mellows-out once it is cooked.
I decided to serve this as a tart, mixed with balsamic caramelized onions, feta cheese and a sprinkling of herbs de provence. Because really, if you’re going to try to like a food, serving it between a flaky crust and warm cheese will pretty much guarantee it will be delicious.
While I was having a bit of a tiff with our CSA when I first saw the fennel, I am now smitten once again, after learning they were really just doing this for my own good.
Caramelized Onion, Fennel and Goat Cheese Tart
Keywords: bake appetizer entree side vegetarian summer
- 1 prepared pie crust
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 3 small onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Oregano, to taste
- Herbs de provence, to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add fennel and onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sugar and seasonings. Set aside.
2. Roll pie crust over baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Spread fennel and onion mixture evenly over crust, leaving 3/4 inch border. Gently fold over crust. Sprinkle feta cheese over mixture.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
Friends! Remember in my last post when I raved on and on about how much I love trying Angie’s Kettle Corn?! I forgot to include the best part! They’re giving away this same package to one Simply Life reader!
To enter, do any/all of the following and let me know in the comments (winner must have a US address; giveaway will be open through Sept 4):
1) Visit Angie’s Kettle Corn and tell me which flavor you’d like to try!
2) Tweet about this (example: @AngiesKettle Giveaway on @SimplyLifeBlog! )
~What’s your favorite way to eat fennel?