Lemon Fennel Ribs with Fennel Slaw and Roasted New Potatoes

Lemon fennel ribs with roasted potatoes and fennel slaw

What a week it’s been!

Sunday night dinner at the home of Emmy Award winning Homeland casting director Judy Henderson (an event worthy of it’s own blog post, so stay tuned, and thanks again Ronnie for the invite!).

Monday meeting with Frank and Larry to discuss our upcoming ethics paper (Larry, you are brilliant!), lunch with Marty (I think we hatched a patentable idea), then Monday evening our first rehearsal for the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Spring Choral Performance (Bach mass in G Major), followed by a quick dinner with Susan at Aureole (great burgers) and the late show of Songs for  New World (My class is performing it in a few weeks and I needed to be inspired. I was! Thanks again, Susan, for staying up late with me on a work night.)

Wednesday a long walk through the Central Park to weekly rehearsal with the Collegiate Singers  (Our spring concert is in early May – an ode to St Cecelia).

Thursday dinner (All you can eat mussels at Bistro 61) with dear friend Annette and her brilliant husband Arthur, whose detective work on Aristalochic acid induced nephropathy continues to amaze and inspire me.

Last night was woodshedding Songs for a New World for musical theater class, and today we actually did our first run through! (Of course, I’m still not off book, so there’s that..)

In between, I saw my patients as usual and even got all my charts done and calls returned before Friday afternoon was over.

Don’t ask me how it happened  or how I did it all – I have no idea. Actually, I do. I committed to things months in advance and then all those commitments colluded. But I had plenty of energy all week long – maybe the three days home sick the week before (?was it really the flu?) helped – I think I needed all that sleep! I also have started exercising more regularly, and that definitely energizes me.

And of course, there’s caffeine. I had given it up the week before, but by Wednesday this week I was back on. But just one cup a day. (I had been drinking three.) I’m going to try to get off again next week.

Mr TBTAM and daughter were just as busy as I was this week, and tonight was actually the first night in 8 days that we were all home for dinner. I needed to make something worthy of the occasion.  Luckily, I had this great little book of Classic Home Recipes from The Chicago Tribune, sent to me for review last week, where I found this wonderful recipe for Lemon Fennel Ribs.  While this meal may not have been a classic in the past,  it is now for us. It was delicious!

Now I’m off to bed early – I’m looking forward to spending tomorrow writing the ethics paper and the patent proposal, with maybe a break for a mani-pedi – I deserve it!

Lemon Fennel Ribs


Modified from a recipe in  Classic Home Recipes from The Chicago Tribune.  This is a rib rub, meant to be used with grilled ribs. Of course, no way I was grilling on this snowy wet March evening, so I modified the preparation. I was nervous these would be too dry, but they were not!

  • 12 pork ribs
  • Grated rind of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

Heat 1 tablespoon fennel seeds in a small skillet set over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Grind in a mortar or pulse in the spice grinder till powdery. Transfer to a bowl; stir in salt, pepper and lemon rind.

Rince ribs and pat dry. Coat on all sides with the rub, place in a glass dish and marinade for 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Brush a small roasting pan with olive oil and arrange the ribs in it. Cover with foil and bake at 450 for 30 mins. Remove foil and place pan under broiler for 10-15 mins, stopping halfway through to turn the ribs.

Serve with fennel slaw and roasted rosemary potatoes (recipes below). A nice size dollop of sheep’s milk yogurt on the plate provides a cool contrast.  Serves 4.

fennel slaw


Modified from a recipe in Classic Home Recipes from The Chicago Tribune. I used red instead of Savoy cabbage, replacing the grapes with golden raisins, and using brown instead of white sugar in the dressing.

  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp coarse brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Peel the outermost leaves off the cabbage, cut out the white core and slice very thin and place in a large bowl. Trim the outer fennel leaves and cut off the stem and base. Grate on the large blade of the grater, then add to the cabbage. Grate the apple down to the core, discard the core, and add the grated apple to the cabbage. Add the raisins. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a bowl; adjust the seasoning by adding sugar or olive oil if needed. Toss with the cabbage, fennel, apple and raisin mixture and serve.


  • 2 pounds of small new potatoes, scrubbed, dried and cut in half.
  • 2  tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl, the spread the potatoes out in a broiler pan. Bake at 450 for 30 mins, turning half way. (You can roast them at the same time you bake the ribs). Remove from oven and cover pan with foil to keep warm while the ribs broil. Serve atop the fennel slaw as described above.

2 Responses to Lemon Fennel Ribs with Fennel Slaw and Roasted New Potatoes

  1. I don’t know how you do it all. Amazing!! And the meals are amazing too. I’ll try the ribs and fennel slaw soon (after my endoscopy).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.