Foeniculum vulgare, better known as Fennel, is a perennial herb (meaning if left in the ground it will come back every year). It’s very useful food if you no how to use Fennel. It’s very aromatic, and has an anise flavor. It’s great in soups and sauces, or can be eaten raw. My favorite way of using fennel is sautéed, over salad. One reason I like fennel is because of the licorice flavor. I love the taste of root beer, and that is what the fennel flavor reminds me of.
How to Use Fennel
As a roasted vegetable, grilling, braising, will help soften the bulb. The taste is great when paired with other roasted vegetables. Fennel is a member of the carrot family, and has light and feathery leaves that look like dill leaves. The great thing about Fennel is every part of the plant edible. So if you know how to use fennel, there are many practical uses.
When you are planting your kitchen Salad Garden, don’t forget to find a place for some fennel. It also makes an excellent tall ornamental plant in the flower garden.
Fennel grows in well drained soil, in zone 6-9, and prefers the full sun. They are very versatile herbs. They have both medicinal and are used in culinary cooking. The leaves are great in enhancing fish, and chicken. It’s also a great addition in curries. Seeds are sown outside in the spring or the fall. Usually they are pest and disease free. And when harvested, if you find yourself with an overabundance,– have no fear– they can be frozen.
Because of its delicateness you need to know how to use fennel in your cooking. The Fennel flavor can be destroyed by long cooking or too much heat. That’s why I like mine lightly sautéed over salad. or used as a garnish.
Below I will show you how to use fennel in one of my favorite salad recipes. (Enjoy!)
Fennel and Red peppers salad:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
2 tablespoons chicken stock.
2 tablespoons lemon juice.
1 tablespoon honey.
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients above, whisk thoroughly. and set aside.
2 medium fennel bulbs.
2 red bell pepper thinly sliced.
Head of lettuce or your favorite green salad.
How to use fennel leaves, for both the salad and on the side.
And toasted Beget.
To make the Salad:
Before using the fennel, remove the outer layer of the fennel bulb and wash and thinly slice it, using a Mandolin or a sharp knife, immediately add the dressing to the mix and mix well, allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Drain the Fennel mixture reserve the extra liquid for later.
On a large serving platter, arrange lettuce or favorite greens, place the fennel mixture on top, arrange the sliced bell peppers over the fennel, drizzle with the remaining dressing, garnish with the saved fennel leaves.
Serves about 3 to 4 people.