Fennel roots were at the Union Square farmers' market when I left at the beginning of July, and are still at the French farmers' markets I've been visiting the past few weeks. Remai
ns of colonialism? Proof of co-evolution? Fodder for my new idea of the "translocal"? (Which so far has this behind it: what's local in one place might carry across oceans to be local in another too.)
Anyway, at the same time as fresh fennel root is available, the very last of last year's onions look meager next to the bright white and green spring onions. Still, the old onions are cheap and yummy, and if you're caramelizing they work a little better than the spring ones (which are perfect for salads, roasting, grilling...).
Caramelized Fennel and Onionsserves 4
1 T olive oil
3 medium fennel roots
3 medium onions
1 cup white or rosé wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Slice the fennel roots and the onions. Sauté in the olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they soften, about 5 minutes, then lower heat (to low), add salt and pepper, and cook for another 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat to medium-high, add wine, and cook, stirring frequently until the liquid has almost disappeared (about 5 min). Add the broth and crème fraiche or sour cream and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has almost disappeared (about 5 min). Serve immediately.
Excellent with a roasted pork loin!