With summer over, my trips to our garden are a little less frequent, but that being said, there are still plenty of delicious reasons at this time of year to see what’s ready for the picking. Included in our personal fall harvest favorites, from radicchio to escarole, is the elegant, refreshingly versatile cousin of celery…Fennel.The flavor is unique, a subtle hint of black licorice with a crisp, cleansing after-taste, and the possibilities are endless – raw as-is, sliced thin and dressed with vinaigrette, baked with béchamel, or as a flavor-booster like in this easy cutlet preparation. Buon Apetito!
Cotolette Fino-Arancio fennel orange cutlets
1 medium orange
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. sherry
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
¼ cup chopped fennel fronds
1 medium vine-ripened tomato
¼ cup white wine
4 – 5 oz. meat of choice (pork chops, chicken breasts, thighs, shrimp)
In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until tender but not crispy, and definitely not burnt. Once you burn garlic, you might as well just start over. Burnt or overcooked garlic will make your dish bitter. Add the juice of the lemon and orange, slowly add the sherry. Place your cutlets in the pan and cook over medium heat. Add the butter, tomato, and fennel fronds. Finally, pour the white wine over the cutlets, cover with lid ajar, and simmer 20 minutes on medium. Stir occasionally around the cutlets, and if liquid evaporates too quickly, reduce to medium-low and simmer a total of 30 minutes.