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Monday, 30 April 2018

Fennel ... is fabulous !



It's quite possible that not everybody will agree with me that 'Fennel is Fabulous'... because not everyone enjoys its strong aniseed flavour which leaves no room for the middle ground. From the same family as the herb and seed of the same name, it's also known as Florence fennel, finocchio, or sweet fennel, is very popular in Italian cookery, and has a bulb-like shape that looks a little like a heavy-bottomed celery.

When eaten raw, the texture is crisp and the flavour is quite assertive and aniseedy. Cooked, it's softer and more mellow.


Availability:
All year round, but it's best from the start of June to the end of September.

Choose the best:
If possible, go for the smaller, young bulbs, as they're more tender. They should look white, with no blemishes, and feel heavy for their size. The feathery green tops should be fresh and bright, with no yellowing.

Prepare it:
Wash, then trim off the green tops (they can be used as a garnish). Slice off the shoots and root and peel off the tougher outer layer (if the bulb is particularly young and tender you can leave this layer on). To cook it whole, cut out the tough central core from the bottom, leaving a cone-shaped cavity, or slice if you prefer. Alternatively, chop into quarters and remove the core from each one (but not too much, or the quarters will fall apart).

Store it:
Fresh cut fennel should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge. It will last for up to three days.

Cook it:
Cut into very thin slices for salads (a mandolin is good for this). Boil or steam (up to 20 minutes for a whole head, or up to 12 minutes for wedges). Roast (40-50 minutes).

Alternatives:
Try dill or fennel herb.

I wonder do you like fennel?
From an original article here

All the best Jan

24 comments:

Mildred said...

I confess, I've never tasted fennel! Thanks for sharing all about it.
Have a great Monday.

Christine said...

I should try it more, I don't really use this.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

YES, I am a big fan of fennel. I've even grown it in my herb garden. And who would grow something they didn't like? Certainly not me. It's wonderful and has a taste that is out of this world.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Can't say I've ever eaten fennel.

Dewena said...

How timely, Jan! Because for the first time we bought a fennel plant when I picked out our herbs for the garden this year. I knew I'd have to google prep of it and how long to let it grow before pulling it up for use. And I didn't know to cut the core out, having never bought a fresh one in the market. But I love the taste of fennel seeds, add them to lots of things and feel sure that I will like it in salads.

Pam Jackson said...

I have never had any that I know of....But after vacation I really need to think about getting back into a better way of eating. My tummy is not happy with the grease that has been laying on it with each meal.

William Kendall said...

I've never tried it.

Jo said...

I've never tried fennel but I do like aniseed so I'm sure it's something I'd enjoy. I'll have to try it.

Catarina said...

I love fennel!! Buy them all the time. Usual price: Can$1.99/each

Cheryl said...

I love fennel.
Mainly eat it raw although I have chopped thinly to add to stir fry's.
It is a great flavour but a bit like marmite, you either love or hate it.

Elephant's Child said...

I do like it. In moderation. And it is yet another of the vegies I prefer raw.

Martha said...

I don't think I've ever had this!

Pom Pom said...

I like the smell but not the taste. It's so good for us, though!

Out on the prairie said...

Love it, tried to grow a few last year, but needed a better area. The birds kept picking off the greens.I use the seed a lot alsop.

Jenn Jilks said...

I have never served this!

Tom said...

...I don't know thing about it.

Mary Kirkland said...

I still have to try fennel.

Carol Blackburn said...

As a medical professional the first thing I saw when I looked at the fennel was a human heart. LOL Not quite right but close enough to stir images in my mind. I'm not sure if I've ever had fennel or not. Perhaps some day soon I'll find out for real. Have a great new week.

Regine Karpel said...

Thanks.

Carla from The River said...

Hi,
Fennel is something getting popular at our local farmers market, I have not tried it fresh, only dried.
Carla

Snowbird said...

I always grow fennel, it's a wonderful veg, so tasty!xxx

Sandy said...

Yes, I love fennel, and often use it in chicken soup. I don't have a large garden now, so have to buy it. When I grew it, I had lots of swallowtail butterflies in the garden all the time.

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent post Jan! Thank you! Big Hugs!

carol l mckenna said...

Fennel is delish!

Happy Weekend to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)