Grilled Fennel Dippers

You have 60 minutes before a group of your closest friends show up for a dinner party and you forgot to make an appetizer.

What do you do?

a) Run around the house like a chicken with your head cut off [an expression my mom always used... and lived constantly].
b) Head out to the local M&M meat market to buy random packs of processed appetizers.
c) Zoom over to the grocery store to pick up 1 fennel bulb, 1 can of chickpeas, and a handful of veggies.

If you picked c we’re on the same wavelength, because that’s exactly what I did last weekend!

I’ve never grilled fennel before. And combined with hummus?

Hubba hubba!

Grilled Fennel Dips with Veggie Hummus

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Transform a fennel bulb into the perfect dipper! This 10 minute appetizer is made from simple ingredients and produces delicious results.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat your indoor (or outdoor) grill.
  2. To slice your fennel bulb for the perfect “dipper”, cut in half vertically. Then remove the core by cutting a triangle in the base of each 1/2 bulb. Begin removing layers as you would an onion and slice these layers into triangles. It wont be perfect, but I promise it will work out!
  3. Place fennel slices on the grill and sprinkle with herbamare. Close the top and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. You still want the fennel to be crisp, so don’t leave it too long.
  4. Serve on a bed of veggie hummus and enjoy!

Note: For a quick version of sauteed veggie hummus try replacing the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper with 1 packet of gluten-free dry vegetable soup mix, like this one (contains corn). It’s not ideal, but when you’re racing against the clock, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Have you cooked with fennel before? It looks like this…

[source]

It’s crunchy, slightly sweet, and adds an aromatic and refreshing taste to salads, soups, and grilled veggies.

My first experience with fennel was when I used it instead of onions in a batch of carrot soup, landing on what is now known as Vegan Creamy Carrot Fennel Soup.

I bet serving this soup cold with a couple of fresh veggie sticks would make for a fantastic summer meal!

And, did you know that this fun ingredient actually has some amazing health benefits, too?

  • Studies have shown that the phytonutrients in fennel may help lower inflammation, decrease risk of cancer, and strengthen our immunity.
  • It’s fiber content helps to keep your digestion rollin’ along, assists in lowering your cholesterol, and encourages detoxification.
  • High in nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, niacin [a B vitamin], calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus

When was the last time you could say that the cracker you dipped in hummus  did all that for your health?

We served these appetizers with our favorite earth friendly merlot; Fetzer, and took the opportunity to educate our guests on the health benefits of fennel.

I didn’t chat about the digestive tract too much… I swear our dinner parties are fun.

;)

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