Continuing what has turned out to be a “series” chronicling foraging for wild edibles for our omelet recipes, we present, today’s Wild Fennel Omelet. This follows the Wild Asparagus Omelet and Wild Mustard Omelet, the latter with added cheese. This one, too, uses just-picked plants from the fields around our community. The spring season, following the winter rains, brings us a rich biomass which includes greenery and views bursting with colorful wild flowers. The latest to make its appearance is the wild fennel, here pictured today as it popped up in our garden.
It arrived this past week without invitation and will grow from its present 10 cm height to adulthood of approximately 150 cm in the coming weeks. Here’s a picture from Wikipedia.com of the full grown appearance of Foeniculum vulgare, as it is called according to its genus and species name.
And like the other two omelet fillings of this “series,” it is a native of this part of the world. In Greek mythology, Prometheus used the stalk of a fennel plant to steal fire from the gods. And fennel is one of the herbs used in the preparation of absinthe, which originated as a medicinal elixir and became a popular alcoholic drink produced from fennel’s first cousin, anise, in France, Greece (Ouzo), Israel (Arak), and other countries. Anise is also a local plant recognized by its white flowers compared to fennel’s yellow flowers. Hereabouts you can recognize these plants by their filiform, feathery leaves which look like dill. It is called shoumar in Hebrew, and its bulb-like leaf bases can be purchased in the market to make salads and soups.
Today we use the fern-like leaves. The hollow stalks of the leaves were chopped and fried quickly with pieces of a small red pepper, and then reserved for inclusion into the omelet with the uncooked “feathers” after the egg had set and was no longer runny. The egg was flipped onto itself as in previous omelet posts, which can be reviewed in the “Omelet of the Week” category found under the header at the top of the pate. There you will also find the link to a youtube “how to..” video which we uploaded to the internet.
This omelet did not need any additional contents. No cheese, pecans, etc. The fennel is rich, flavorful, fresh, and tasty and the soft and fragile, feathery greenery contrasts nicely with the crunchiness of the lightly fried stalks. It is Mmmmmmmm good and we hope you will try it. You certainly will no regrets, but will long remember the lingering flavors. Bon Apetit — B’Tayavon.
Happy Passover and a Joyous Easter, our wonderful Holidays of Spring.