an awesome way to make fall veggies
OK, so bacon is really a wonderful thing… It makes “plain” tasting veggies very tasty. This can, however be done without the bacon of course.
If you choose to include it, this is how I like to do it. It leaves the flavor in every bite, and adds a nice textural element at the final plating. As an alternative, try the same approach with ground beef.
I slice the bacon into matchstick size and render it slowly (that means adding it to a warm pan and cooking it slowly so that lots of the fat comes out. We want that fat in the pan to cook in and to flavor the whole dish.
Once its close to crispy, remove and save for later.
apologies for the marginal photo quality. Fancy phone cameras seem to have a hard time focusing on steam…
Fennel is a wonderful, flavor boosting veggie that is widely available into late fall (and again in spring). Here’s how I prep it:
I compost the “middle” section, as it is neither “leafy” enough, or enough of a “bulb” to get what I like from a textural standpoint. The bulb will be thinly sliced and sauteed in the cooking fat. It adds a bit of an anise flavor and a bit of sweetness to the whole dish.
I saute it until it just begins to caramelize. From there, I add the carrots sliced about 1/8 in thick at a slight angle. Saute the carrots for 3-4 minutes and then add the napa cabbage. The “stem” takes a bit longer to cook, so they go in first, followed by the “leafy” parts about 3 minutes later:
Here’s what it’ll look like at this point:
From here, saute until the cabbage has wilted. At this point, turn the heat off and add the fennel”leafy parts” chopped to 1/4 inch and stir in:
Transfer to a serving bowl and add the bacon back in. Here’s a finished product that also included some beet greens (yes, you can eat the tops of beets too!)
We do our best to eat locally grown, seasonally available produce. This time of year, the selection goes down to what can handle the winter weather in low tunnels or greenhouses. This dish is one way to “shake up” the monotony of the limited selection of produce.