From Blue Apron, a beautiful and unexpectedly delicious combination of ingredients. Getting acquainted with fennel has been a bonus of our Blue Apron meals.
I was especially pleased to discover that the word “narthex”, a favorite of Dick and mine since our time at Binkley Church in Chapel Hill, has its origins in a fennel bulb. Margaret Visser’s book The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church, tells us that “the front and transitional portion of a church was known in the Greek Christian world as a narthex, a sacred enclosure.” Narthex is a Greek word meaning “fennel stalk.” Visser writes, “In the ancient Mediterranean world, a section of a very large fennel stalk was commonly used as a container. For example, Prometheus in Greek mythology stole fire from the gods on Mount Olympus and gave it to humankind, carrying the hot brand down to us enclosed in a narthex.”
1 ripe persimmon
1 fennel bulb
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut off and discard any fennel stems. Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise; cut out and discard the core. Thinly slice crosswise. Core the persimmon and thinly slice into rounds; place in a bowl with 4 teaspoons (1 and 1/3 tablespoons) of the vinegar to prevent browning.
Combine the fennel and remaining vinegar. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.
Add the persimmon to the bowl of marinated fennel. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.