Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just like Pinocchio, but with an F.

I'm days behind with this. Lots of little anecdotes to share, but too busy to share, which is good, isn't it? 
Wednesday's Italian class confirmed that my lovely Italian teacher has me completely sussed. My taste buds and my stomach are the avenue to my heart and brain.  After a lesson reviewing how to order food she pulls out this odd looking bulb. 

Fortunately, thanks to my dear pal M. I did not appear like a complete uncouth, corn syrup sucking idiot and was able to identify the funky bulb - fennel, in Italian, finocchio. I think my teacher may also be attempting to save me from myself with the introduction of lots of healthy foods, in this case verdure fresche in pinzimonio. Apparently, this is a very Tuscan approach to vegetables in the summer. A mixture of vegetables cleaned, peeled.... il sedano, i caricoi, i ravelli and, of course, i finocchi served with the very best olio, sale, and aceto. Mmmmm finocchio. Ila and I give finoccio the big thumbs up.


  1. Did your teacher remember to tell you the slang meaning of finocchio?

    I also discovered fennel in Florence, and especially (cue nostalgia violins) remember a really drunken night w/a couple of school friends I had invited over for dinner. We polished off a bottle of wine before I got around to lighting the oven to make my baked fennel with bechamel sauce (your preparation sounds much healthier!). Lighting the oven involved very long matches and a lot of bravery (and sobriety). I can't remember if the oven ever got lit but someone fell out of a chair a few times and it was a wonderful evening all the same.

  2. No, she didn't. I had to go ask someone yesterday. :)

    That sounds very fun. Wnat is this baked fennel recipe?

  3. Oops... I hope I didn't embarrass you!

    I don't remember if I had a printed recipe, just took a bulb or two and put a simple bechamel sauce (butter, milk, flour, s, p, nutmeg, grated cheese) on it and stuck it in the oven to bake (or, tried to...). Bechamel is also great baked with broccoli, or even just tossed over pasta. Not exactly low calorie. One of the few things I had an absolute craving for when I was pregnant.