...And along the way we're picking out key ingredients, including this mutant green onion thing that is actually something called Fennel.
This herb has a thick white base, stalk which darken to green the further they grow from the base.
Fennel has a black licorice flavour to it, but mixed with salt or lemon, it can taste quite nice, says Daybreak's Coastal Cooking Columnist. You'll have to take Adrienne's word on that (she is after all a celebrated chef and former owner of Cow Bay Cafe).
"My favourite way to prepare fennel is in a salad. It can be cooked, but, to me, it becomes too sweet and loses the savoury edge to which I so look forward," says Johnston.
Well, here is her recipe for fennel salad:
WASH AND TRIM A FRESH FENNEL; BULB.
TO TRIM IT, REMOVE A THIN SLICE FROM THE BOTTOM, CUT THE BULB IN HALF ALONG THE LENGTH.
REMOVE AND SAVE THE SOLID CORE. REMOVE AND SAVE SOME OF THE DARKER GREEN STALKS AND REMOVE ALL THE LITTLE FRONDS. PLACE THE FRONDS ON A PAPER TOWEL TO DRY.
SLICE THE BULB INTO PAPER-THIN SLICES. SLICE THE CORE INTO PAPER THIN SLCICES AND ALSO SOME OF THE STALKS. PLACE THE SLICED FENNEL IN A BOWL AND LIGHTLY SALT WITH A FLAKY KOSHER SALT.
WASH AND DRY A LEMON AND GRATE THE ZEST INTO THE FENNEL SLICES. DRIZZLE THE LOT WITH THE BEST OLIVE OIL YOU CAN FIND, I USE THE EXTRA VIRGIN SQUEEZE OVER THE JUICE OF HALF THE LEMON. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET THE SEEDS IN AS THEY ARE A PAIN TO REMOVE AND IF YOU BITE INTO ONE IT WILL BE VERY BITTER AND COARSE. GRIND ON SOME FRESH BLACK PEPPER. MIX THE LOT WELL, USING A LIGHT HAND.
SEED AND CHOP A HANDFUL OF SUN DRIED BLACK OLIVES.
TO PLATE THE SALAD, PLACE THE MOUND OF THE FENNEL MIXTURE ON A PLATE, STREW A FEW CHOPPED BLACK OLIVES AROUND, STREW ON SOME OF THE FENNEL FRONDS AND DRIZZLE ON A LITTLE MORE OLIVE OIL. TO ELEVATE THIS SALAD TO THE SUBLIME, SPRINKLE OVER A LITTLE FENNEL POLLEN.