Fennel’s distinctive taste lands somewhere between sweet anise and black liquorice. It actually becomes lighter in taste when cooked — so don’t let the liquorice flavour turn you off. Its light green bulb can be sliced and added to salads and veggie platters. Also, it is great sautéed or roasted with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil.
How to Pick Fennel:
Choose bulbs that are clean and crisp looking, without brown spots. The green at the top of the bulb, called the frond, should also be a vibrant green colour.
How to Store Fennel:
Fennel can be stored in your refrigerator for up to one week in a plastic bag.
How to Prepare Fennel:
After washing, cut off the stalks (within one inch of the bulb) and discard or save for soup stock. Trim the bottom off. The easiest way to prepare fennel is by slicing it into quarters and slicing out the core if it’s thick. You can then slice the it either way you like — thick or thin.
You can eat it raw or cook it by braising, grilling, boiling, sautéing, or adding to a soup. The green feathery tops can be used to enhance the flavour of a dish by finely chopping and sprinkling on top.
1 pound = ~2 ½ cups sliced
Kary’s Fennel Tips:
• If the sides of the bulb are starting to brown, use a vegetable peeler to remove it.
• Fennel is sometimes labeled “Sweet Anise.”
• Add shaved fennel to coleslaw — it will make the coleslaw taste better. Because it’s thinly sliced, it won’t be an overpowering flavour.
• Fennel in cooked tomato dishes is a match made in heaven. Add sautéed fennel to tomato based sauces — especially mussels.