We got two fennel bulbs in our CSA box this week so I headed right to the internet to find some interesting things to do with them. This recipe for Fennel Tzatziki from Gourmet July '99 struck me right away.
I've been looking for an excuse to bbq some lamb & this sauce was it. I was a bit worried that the fennel might be a little overwhelming in this since you are using the bulb, seeds & fronds but it really wasn't. The anise flavor along with a slight tang from the yogurt really is a perfect compliment to the flavor of lamb. Matt said it really took our Sunday dinner up a notch.
Next time we are going to try it over fish which is what most of the reviewers on Epicurious said they did.
1/2 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored & finely chopped
2 t fennel fronds, stalks removed & finely chopped
1/2 t fennel seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 c plain yogurt
1/4 t kosher salt
Toast the fennel seeds in a small skillet until slightly darker & fragrant. Use a grinder or mortar & pestle to grind the seeds. Mix all ingredients together. I think its best if it's let sit covered in the fridge for a bit before using.
You can make this sauce up to three days ahead of time & store it covered in the fridge
Makes about 1 1/2 c
We served the lamb with grilled zucchini & couscous with parsley. It really looked like a fancy meal but took no time at all.