Want to be the star at the next back yard BBQ or church potluck? Then pair the licorice bite of Fennel with the sharp tartness of a Granny Smith or Anna Dorsett apple, with green cabbage and fresh dill. Use my pantry staple version of crème fraiche sauce – a fancy French name for soured milk – instead of the classic mayo, vinegar and white sugar.
Saturday morning I sampled this recipe to customers at the Farmers Market. My friend, John Zortman, of Amish John’s Country Market, is the vendor I work with. He allows me the creative freedom to mix and match his organic produce and create new recipes and food combinations. Fennel is a beautiful green bulb and often over looked or underappreciated by shoppers. Green apples on their own need a good dash of salt, a slab of sharp cheddar cheese or made into a pie. Go beyond the common pairing and make this instead.
1 Fennel bulb
2 Granny Smith OR 3 small Anna Dorsett (sweeter/juicier than Smith)
1 Medium head green cabbage (about 8 cups chopped)
¼ C fresh dill herb (or ½ C fresh parsley herb)
16 oz. container (organic) sour cream
¼ C canned evaporated milk (less if you like a thicker sauce)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
Remove the stalks from the Fennel bulb. Trim base and any tough looking outer leaves from the base of the bulb and dice into small, quarter inch pieces. Core and trim apples and dice into quarter inch pieces. Trim outer leaves of cabbage and dice into one inch squares. Mince dill.
MY CRÈME FRAICHE SAUCE
Combine sour cream with evaporated milk and whisk together well. A classic crème fraiche is made with heavy cream and buttermilk which is then allowed to ferment and become a creamier version of its self. I make mine using sour cream and canned evaporated milk. Canned milk is a pantry staple, much lighter and cost less than a dollar a can! I use canned milk throughout the week for homemade salad dressings, fresh tomato and basil soup, and a light mushroom cream sauce for pasta. My little dog Henry, who is almost 20 years old, gets some on bread every morning.
You can use a blender or food processor for any of the steps above. The proportion of green ingredients to use for achieving a balanced bite is as follows: equal parts fennel and apple to 3 parts chopped cabbage. For example: 1 cup fennel, 1 cup apple to 3 cups cabbage to 1 TB minced dill. Add about 1 cup of crème fraiche. If you follow those proportion rules you can make any size batch you want.
This is a light, bright and big punch of flavor from a few veggies! Customers were surprised and amazed how well the ingredients taste when combined with the sweet green cabbage. Add the final touch of salt and heat from the white pepper. Note: white pepper is hotter than black. Use sparingly.