|Warm Fennel Dip with Sourdough Bread|
Superbowl weekend is upon us, so it’s time to fire up the grills, unlock the liquor cabinet and eat enough food in one afternoon to undo even the best of your New Year’s resolutions.
Even if our beloved Saints aren’t contenders, I’m glad the party is in our old hometown of New Orleans–it gives the rest of the world a chance to see what hospitality and good food is all about.
Today’s recipe pays homage to my second favorite city–San Francisco. Mr. B and I lived just off Union Square and enjoyed a couple of good years running around the city and enjoying the good eats.
Here’s a recipe that incorporates two of San Francisco’s most notable ingredients–fennel, which grows wild just about everywhere in the Bay area, and good sourdough bread.
Warm Fennel Dip
3 medium sized fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
4 T unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
3 T ground fennel seed
1/2 cup of white vermouth
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, finely grated (Please don’t use the stuff in the can)
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and fennel and cook until the onion is golden and the fennel begins to caramelize. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the fennel is soft. Add the ground fennel seed and the white vermouth. Cook until the vermouth evaporates. Turn off heat and let cool.
In a food processor, process the fennel mixture until finely chopped, but not completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a buttered oven-proof dish and stir in the parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with a bit more parmesan cheese and bake at 350º until bubbly and brown.
Serve with thin slices of fresh sourdough bread.