Fennel Cheese and Lemon Fritters

Fennel Cheese and Lemon Fritters (Fritelles)

3 medium fennels, stalks removed
2 large eggs, beaten
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 cups grated Pecorino cheese
Zest of 2 lemons
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cook the fennel in hot boiling salted water.  Cook until just tender.  Strain well and allow to cool. From the core, cut in half first. From the core cut into 1/3 inch slices. Dry well with paper towel.

Place the beaten eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl add the Pecorino cheese and zest together.

Dip the fennel slices in the eggs first, then in the cheese and zest mixture.  Add the oil to a large skillet and cook on medium heat until golden on the bottom. Turn once and cook the other side to golden. Be sure the slices are about 1/2 apart for best results.

Fennel is delicious eaten raw because it is refreshing to the palate. It can be served to whet the appetite if eaten as an appetizer with vinaigrette or simply sprinkled with salt.  Boiled or steamed with butter, and covered with grated Parmigiano, it makes a great side dish.  This recipe is served as an appetizer or side.  I make extra, so I can have leftover snacks.

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