Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Fennel Bud and Mint Herb Butter on Corn
Belle’s was not having good luck with the animal kingdom this weekend. First there was an unfortunate incident with some fictional birds. And, then Saturday morning, my husband and I realized we had forgotten our CSA basket overnight.
Thanks to the cold rainless summer we hadn’t receive a single share yet. If this had been 1850 we would have starved. (That said, if it were 1850 my husband’s family would be alternating surviving a potato famine, farming rocks in Italy; and I would be eating rice on the west coast of India. But why split hairs?)
So Belle trotted off to the front door with her father to pick up the vegetables. “Mommy, oh look.” and “Bring your camera” were both mentioned after the door opened. The front stoop was littered with the detritus of many a happy raccoon. The fastidious little buggers had cleaned all 12 ears and left the silk, cobs and husks for us to clean up.
It was the final straw for Belle. Tears were spilled, punctuated by the phrase, “those raccoons.”
We decided to run to the farmer’s market to pick up replacement corn. Then we came home, steamed them and topped them with Fennel bud and Mint Herbed Butter. (The adults added nanami—Japanese Chili powder with orange rind and black sesame seeds) Basically combine 5 T of soften butter with 2 young leaves of finely chopped mint and 1 full fennel flower bud also chopped. Finished with coarse sea salt.
Fennel and mint are wonderful herbs as they engender feelings of being a successful gardener no matter your skill, ability, interest or soil. At some point in the summer we completely forget about our fennel, it first goes to bud and then flower and finally to seed. We use all of the forms of fennel in our food. The fronds and buds are definitely stronger an anise flavor than the bulb. We put the buds or the flowers in tossed salads, with roasted vegetables, or in ago to put on sandwiches. (The seeds are commonly used in Indian food.)
That evening, my husband wondered if she was dreaming of hunting them corn-fed raccoons; but I am fairly confident she was dream of the herbed butter that she ended up licking off her plate.
This post is also my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging run by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once