Fennel loves fat. That's why fennel seeds are such a common seasoning in sausages. They contribute a mildly peppery, fresh flavor that cuts through the delicious heaviness of the rich meat.
So we decided to play up that balance by creating a grilled sausage sandwich with a triple dose of fennel -- fennel seeds in the sausage, fresh fennel bulb shaved and piled on top, and more fennel seeds in the dressing. We blend the fresh fennel with shaved red bell pepper and a Dijon-mayonnaise dressing to create a cooling slaw that adds a crunchy sweet contrast to the warm sausage.
Want to dress up these rolls even more? Slice sweet onions into thick slabs, coat them with oil and slap those on the grill, too. The grilled onions will provide a delicious bed to nestle the sausages into inside the rolls.
Triple Fennel Sausage Sandwiches
Start to finish: 25 minutes. Servings: 5.
5 fennel sausage links (about 1 pound)
1 bulb fennel, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cored
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 crusty grinder rolls, to serve
Heat a grill to medium. Oil the grill grates with an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs.
Grill the sausages for 20 minutes, turning regularly.
While the sausages grill, make the fennel slaw. Use a mandoline or food processor to shave the fennel and red pepper very thinly. Alternatively, use a knife to slice the fennel and pepper as thinly as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the crushed fennel seed, vinegar, mayonnaise and mustard. Add the fennel and red pepper, tossing to thoroughly coat with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place each sausage in a roll and top with the slaw.
Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories; 90 calories from fat (47 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 16 g protein; 670 mg sodium.