Wild fennel grows all over the island of Crete, and has an aromatic licorice taste. Cretan cooks use fennel to flavor all kinds of dishes, from stews to seafood. It is also used on its own, in patties or traditional savory pies.
Cuttlefish with Fennel and Spinach
•2 pounds cuttlefish
•1 cup olive oil
•1 small onion, finely sliced
•3 cups water
•1 cup chopped fresh fennel
•2 cups chopped fresh spinach
•2 spring onions
•1 medium tomato, cubed
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•Juice of 1 large lemon
1.Clean and rinse the cuttlefish well.
2.In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil. Stir-fry the sliced onion for 1 to 2 minutes.
3.Add the cuttlefish and brown on both sides.
4.Add the water, cover, and simmer for at least 40 to 45 minutes.
5.Add the fennel, spinach, spring onions, tomato, salt, and pepper. If required, add a little water.
6. Cover the pot and continue cooking on low until the greens are soft. Pour the lemon juice over the top. Remove from the heat.
7.Stir well, and let the meal rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Click here for the main article, Centuries of Cretan Herbs.
Nancy Allison is a freelance writer living in New York. She writes about plants, people, and places for several magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.