Fennel: Ode to Spring

At the Santa Monica Farmers Market, chef Brian Sheard, of Taste on Melrose, picks up fennel to be sautéed and added to a dish of steamed mussels, Point Reyes blue cheese and a white wine sauce.

Fennel is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean so it’s perhaps not surprising that it tastes incredible with fish. It doesn’t grow well in hot weather so Mark Carpenter of Coastal Farms grows his fennel crops during the cooler times of the year. He harvests once at the end of summer, once during the fall and once in the spring.

It’s not often you find a dish that pairs blue cheese with seafood, but chef Brian Sheard found a way. The earthiness of the blue cheese and the vibrance of the fennel rounds out the “ocean” flavor of the mussels. Find his recipe below.

Taste on Melrose P.E.I. Mussels
Steamed mussels with Point Reyes blue cheese, white wine sauce, sautéed fennel, and grilled garlic crostini. (Photo courtesy of Taste on Melrose)