Many Italians like to end a big meal with sliced raw fennel, also known as sweet anise, convinced that this crisp vegetable aids their digestion.I can’t vouch for fennel’s medicinal properties, but like many of my fellow Italians, I love its licorice-like flavor and crunchy texture.My parents, who were farmers, did not grow it when I was a child in rural Calabria—the “toe” of the Italian boot—because we lived in the hills, and fennel prefers the cool coast.And in my current northern California home, I have access to fennel year-round, so I eat it in every possible way: raw in salads or as a simple snack, and cooked in a variety of satisfying side dishes.But one of my favorite winter salads combines thinly sliced fennel with juicy orange segments, red onions, and black olives.I also like to eat strips of raw fennel as a snack, just as Americans reach for carrot or celery sticks.Large chunks of fennel can be fibrous, so I like to cut the bulbs lengthwise into slender slivers or crosswise into thin half moons (see directions below).It’s delicious roasted at high temperatures, which turn the edges brown and crisp, or slowly sautéed in a bit of olive oil.I slowly braise thick wedges with tomatoes, olives, capers, and a little water, and the results are luxurious: smooth and creamy with a sweet, tangy flavor.No matter what method you use, fennel that’s thoroughly cooked (be sure it has plenty of moisture or fat) becomes almost creamy, losing the crunch it has when raw but gaining in sweetness. .
Shaved Fennel Salad
Find these pale green bulbs—sometimes still attached to their dill-like, darker-green fennel stalks, which are great for making stock—at the farmers market in summer, and grab a little fresh mint while you’re at it. .
How to Use Fennel Stalks and Fronds to Reduce Waste
You will be saving a great source of added flavor and can compost the spent stalks as you would other aromatics such as bay and tea and coffee grounds.In vegetable and fish stocks, fennel stalks bring great personality to the pot where they can be used as a compliment or replacement for other ingredients.Roughly chop them and add them to the simmering stock at the beginning of cooking to get all of the fennel flavor or near the end to impart just a hint to your pot.Throw a few fennel stalks in the steamer or boiling liquid for your next crab or shrimp fest to bring a seafood friendly flavor to your crustaceans.Boil fennel stalks in water for 10-15 minutes to create a perfumed poaching liquid for fish or chicken.Place the stalks under a piece of fish when grilling or roasting to impart subtle flavor during cooking.Make a compound butter that is an excellent topper for fish, grilled chicken, pasta hot out of the pot or steamed rice.Simply blend together a stick of room temperature butter with finely minced fennel fronds, a diced shallot or bit of red onion and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.This recipe uses all parts of the fennel plant — the bulb, stems and fronds — to create a delicious infusion.The alcohol in the infusion will open up flavor compounds that are not water soluble, amplifying the tomato taste. .
What is Fennel—and What Can I Do With It?
From bulb to stalk to frond, here's how to grow, select, and cook with fennel, the sweet anise-flavored veggie that deserves a spot on your plate.Like celery, the entire fennel plant is edible and lends itself to a wide variety of cooking applications.Just one cup of fennel contains almost 20 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. You'll also find plenty of iron, fiber, and potassium.Try planting fennel varieties such as Zefa Fino or Trieste—they resist the urge to flower, channeling their energy into the bulb instead.Look for small, heavy, white bulbs that are firm and free of cracks, browning, or moist areas.Wrapped in plastic, fennel keeps for just a few days in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator; the flavor fades as it dries out.All parts of the fennel plant—bulb, stalk, and the feathery fronds—are edible, and will add texture and flavor to salads, slaws, pastas, and more.Thinly sliced raw fennel bulb adds a sweet licorice flavor and crunchy texture to salads.To slice the bulb, stand it on the root end and cut vertically with a sharp knife of mandolin.Fennel stalks can take the place of celery in soups and stews, and can be used as a "bed" for roasted chicken and meats.Raw fennel bulb packs a crisp texture and distinctive licorice flavor—here, we showcase it alongside cucumbers and bell peppers in this crunchy-creamy salad, then top it with toasted panko breadcrumbs and fresh dill.This dish combines delicate, sweet crab meat with anise-y fennel, which play nicely together for a simple, light pasta, perfect for the warmer weather.Sliced fennel bulb becomes mellow and sweet once sautéed and braised in chopped, strained tomatoes.Serve as a side to sauteed or grilled shrimp, halibut, flounder, or any other mild white fish. .
Raw or cooked? Everything You Need to Know About Fennel
Thanks to anethole, one of the essential oils contained in the vegetable, fennel has the ability to counteract the formation of intestinal gas and relieve abdominal contractions and cramps, aerophagy and flatulence.Fennel's antioxidant properties also include vitamin C (which, among other things, protects our skin) and flavonoids that strengthen the immune system and fight free radicals, especially at the joint level to prevent irritation.Also thanks to the electrolytes within (that facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses and serve as a vasodilator), fennel increases oxygenation levels in brain.The pulp (and even more so the seeds) contains a good amount of iron and substances that stimulate the production of hemoglobin.Cooked fennel – whether it’s steamed, baked, pan-fried, boiled or au gratin – will last in the refrigerator for a maximum of two to three days. .
How to Eat Fennel Raw
Fennel is a vegetable belonging to the parsley family, and all three parts -- the bulb, stalks, and fronds -- are edible.While you can cook fennel, many people prefer it raw for its unusual licorice flavor and varied textures.Combine fennel with other sliced raw vegetables such as red bell pepper, scallions and carrots, add chopped herbs such as parsley and chives, then dress the salad in a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. .
How to Prepare Fennel (with video!)
Watch and learn how to prepare fennel with this easy tutorial, including step-by-step photos and a short video.You can eat it raw, roasted, or cooked in salads, stews, soups, and pasta dishes.In fact, fennel is often used as the base for flavorful broths that chefs use to braise fish and meats.I’ve included tips for slicing and shaving this bulbous vegetable, as well as my favorite ways to cook with it.You can save the fronds to use as garnish for dishes, and the stalks can be used like celery in soups and stocks.Fennel fronds can also be added to dishes in the same manner as parsley, dill, or other herbs.If a dish calls for shaved, instead of sliced or diced, fennel, follow the above steps but with one variation.Keep each layer of the fennel bulb intact, instead of cutting it in half like you would when making a smaller dice.Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.Cutting board Ingredients ▢ 1 bulb fennel Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark Instructions Slice off the stalks and fronds.Video Notes Fennel can be enjoyed raw, roasted, or cooked in soups or pasta dishes. .
What is Fennel? (And How to Cook It)
It has a fresh, aromatic anise flavor, and it can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted, or even added to soups and sauces.The base of its long stalks weave together to form a thick, crisp bulb that grows above ground.If I’m craving raw fennel, I almost always thinly shave the bulb on my mandoline, removing any tough core pieces.Dress it up with herbs, nuts, and shaved Parmesan cheese, toss it with greens and simple vinaigrette, or use it in one of these salad recipes:.The thin slices will melt and brown in the pan, taking on a delicious caramelized flavor.Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until the wedges are tender and caramelized around the edges.You could also remove the tough core pieces and toss the roasted fennel with pasta or add it to a hearty vegetarian lasagna.Finely mince the fronds to use as an aromatic garnish for salads, soups, pasta, and more, or save the fennel stalks and leaves to use in homemade vegetable broth. .