Marinated Sardines with Fennel, Raisins and Pine Nuts
"You need a wine that can counterbalance these intense sardines," says Dan Amatuzzi of Mario Batali's quickly fried fish marinated in sweet Champagne vinegar, the classic Venetian dish sardines in saor. He selects a Verdicchio from Le Marche with sweet pear notes.
Miami chef Michael Schwartz uses brown ale and whole-wheat flour to flavor his chewy crust. Toppings can range from potato and house-cured bacon to this pie, made with Pernod-braised fennel, caramelized onions and Trugole, a semisoft Italian cheese that melts beautifully.
Bow-Tie Salad with Fennel, Prosciutto, and Parmesan
A tangy lemon dressing makes this main-course salad especially refreshing, and the only thing you have to cook is the pasta. If you find a fennel bulb with the dark-green feathery tops still on, chop some of them and toss into the pasta.
Eugenia Bone serves this simple green salad with a cheese plate and plenty of rustic bread. She always includes Taleggio and aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well as fresh imported sheep’s-milk ricotta whenever she can find it at the market.
Kohlrabi tastes a lot like a broccoli stem, but it’s milder and sweeter and the texture is crisper. Chef Stephanie Izard thinks it’s an underappreciated vegetable, so she makes it the star of her delicious salad, served raw in very thin slices. In fact, she likes the dish so much that she takes some home to eat on the couch after service a few times a week.
Pleasantly bitter, herb-infused Campari is a bracing aperitif, especially when it’s blended with a little sparkling wine as it is here. Neal Bodenheimer loves how the vivid-red Italian spirit tastes with fennel. “This is a perfect way to use up any leftover fennel fronds from the kitchen,” he says.