Pork and fennel are BFF

October 21, 2009 · 11 comments

So, I had a nice big hairy fennel bulb sitting in the fridge, waiting to meet that special someone. This particular fennel bulb was pretty special, having been brought all the way to me from my friend’s garden far, far away, so I wouldn’t be happy with it settling for just anyone. Luckily I had some nice pork loin steaks sitting in the freezer just waiting to come out and play. I’m not a huge fan of aniseed, thus I didn’t want the fennel to take over the relationship so I decided to throw a few other ingredients into the mix to keep the fennel on its toes. It’s hairy toes.

The result was a beautiful open romance of a really delicious dinner that I shall be making again for sure!

Warm Pork and Fennel Pasta Salad

Serves 2-3

2 pork loin steaks
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1/4 small red cabbage, sliced thinly
Good handful of baby spinach leaves (sliced in half if big ones)
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red capsicum
1 orange
Handful of shelled broad beans
Few capers
Good handful of bowtie pasta
30 mL orange juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 Tb wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper

1. Roast the red capsicum, remove the skin, slice into strips and set aside.
2. Segment the orange, set aside.
3. Cook the pasta until al dente, refresh under cold water and set aside.
4. Fry the pork steaks until done to your liking, then allow to rest before slicing into strips.
5. Make the dressing by combining the orange juice, olive oil, mustard and some salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
6. Add some olive oil to a hot frying pan, and sauté the red onion until soft. Add the fennel and broad beans. Once all softened, add the red cabbage. Saute all until done to your liking. I like to have my cabbage softened a little, and some colour to everything else. If you want, add the pasta and pork back into the pan to warm them back up a little.
7. In a large bowl, combine the pork, fennel, onion, cabbage, spinach leaves, capsicum slices, orange segments, pasta and capers. Toss gently.
8. Add your dressing to the bowl, or serve the salad and then drizzle the dressing over the top. Garnish with a few little fennel hairs.