I am happy to report that it's not all dead herbs around here. The garden, even in the cold weather, is still giving us a steady supply of fresh thyme and oregano.
I used a bunch of thyme to flavor up one of my favorite veggies as of late: fennel. This is fennel caramelised in a sweet brown sugar sauce, resting atop a bed of creamy polenta dotted with savory crumbles of blue cheese. The recipe is in Donna Hay's Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry, which features dreamy food photography that makes my mouth water every time I look through it. My photo doesn't quite do justice to how good this meal tastes. It's crunchy and creamy, savory and sweet, all rolled up into one.
Fennel is a vegetable we're going to try growing in our garden this year. We're starting it from seed, so I imagine it will be a while before we get our own tasty stalks to include in a dish like this.