Oh jeez. I’m sorry, I’ve been the worst blogger ever. I’ve been working my you-know-what off trying to launch a website (CSS and web design are WAY harder than they look!), and then I went to Korea with some friends, and only really got back yesterday.
Korea was amazing; I wish I’d had longer than a week there. I’d always had this strange attraction to it, and then this unexplainable love for Korean food (that for most people takes a few shots to get used to). My dad and I were discussing it one day and he told me that I was conceived there. And in our strange logic that completely explained why I love Korean food and why I have Asian alcohol syndrome (really, one drink and I’m blotchy and red and way too drunk for my Scottish roots). So I was super excited to finally go, and it was all thanks to my friend Soo. Soo moved to America from Seoul about a year before I did, and we ended up at the same high school. She went to university in San Diego and then moved back to Korea much to the dismay of all her friends. But it worked out for the best because she got married last week, and we all got to go and visit ;).
It was only a week, which wasn’t nearly enough time to actually see the city. We had a few amazing meals (including the best Korean barbecue meal of my life) and got to see some really cool markets and herb stalls, and then it was over!! A whirlwind trip, really. But it was worth it. Except for the man next to me on the flight out there who twitched in his sleep bringing his hand terrifyingly close to my face, it was worth it.
When I got back I was craving sleep, and craving food that wasn’t laden with MSG. So I went and stole dandelion leaves from my neighbour’s garden. I know, I’ve been lecturing everyone else about not stealing from peoples’ gardens, but dandelion leaves are different: nobody wants them (except us weird folk who like wild things) so I don’t think it’s such a big deal.
Fennels are growing wild everywhere in California right now. They’re getting a bit too big to harvest, but I’m getting my last few in, and then they’re available at farmers markets and supermarkets for months to come. The raisins add a pop of sweetness and the dandelion leaves balance it all out with that hit of tangy bitterness. Yummy for a side dish, or ust for lunch, if you’re me.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 big fennel bulb, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small handful dandelion leaves, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 handful raisins
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp white wine
1 tsp your favourite herb mix- I use my own personal ‘herbs de Californie’ blend, but you can use herbs de Provence, or even a collection of local things that catch your eye!
Heat the oil and butter on medium, add everything except the dandelion, and cook for around ten minutes, until the liquid is evaporated. Add the dandelion, wilt, and serve immediately.