Fennel Field I’m not done exploring the fennel and bay flavor duo. It worked very well with roasted orata (sea bass). The fennel branches and dry bay leaf went into the fish cavity, along with a bit of mint and parsley stems. It totally rocked as base for seafood risotto!
I tried it with grilled meats, and it was good, but not stellar. It seems more of a natural fit with fish and seafood. Or maybe there needs to be a liquid involved to get the flavors to mingle and enhance each other.
It worked very well with roasted orata (sea bass). The fennel branches and dry bay leaf went into the fish cavity, along with a bit of mint and parsley stems. Parsley stems? No, that’s not some new esoteric ingredient. I was using the parsley leaves for potatoes and it seemed a shame to waste the stems with all their flavor, so into the fish they went. Very delicious, and you discard all the herbs before serving so no one will know your secret way with branches and stems.
It totally rocked as base for seafood risotto! The mixed seafood was sauteed with the fennel and bay and I used the juice from the saute to supplement the risotto broth. I bet it would also work if you steeped the fennel branches and bay leaf in the broth.
The last moment inspiration was to finish the risotto with saffron, and that brought all the flavor elements together just like the conductor in an orchestra. Very satisfying.
Anyone else messing around with these flavors? Inquiring minds want to know! (I bet it would be a beautiful base note in a traditional BBQ sauce…)