Fennel Bulb The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.  Taste like a cross between licorice and anise. Some like it some dont.

Cooking Tips

 

      Substitute for celery in traditional recipes.

      Try cutting bulbs into quarters, drizzle with oil or butter, and bake for about 30-35.

      Saut with zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, thyme and some salt.

      Steam fennel and chill it along with other vegetables; dress with a spoonful of lemon juice, olive oil, chopped chives or green onion, finish with salt and fresh herbs if desired.

      Cut raw fennel into slices for dipping. Try dipping with a bowl of olive oil with salt and herbs.

      Use feathery leaves as a fresh herb for seasoning. Try using it in place of dill. Excellent on baked or broiled fish with butter and lemon.

      Italians use fennel as part of an antipasto platter or for desert along with soft goat cheese.

      Add to soups, pureed or chopped. Slices can be sauted first to lock in flavors.

 

Storage Tips-

  • Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about a week. Its best to east ASAP as it tends to gradually lose its flavor.
  • While fresh fennel can be frozen after first being blanched, it seems to lose much of its flavor during this process.
  • The delicate leaves will go limp. Wrap them in a moist towel and refrigerate.

 

Featured Recipes-

Mixed Greens and Fennel with Ginger Dressing

1 bag of fresh spinach or mixed salad greens
2 fennel bulbs (cleaned, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced thinly crosswise)
For the dressing:
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup oil
Blend first seven dressing ingredients in food processor. With machine running, gradually add oil and process until well blended. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before using.)

Toss fennel and greens with dressing. Enjoy!

Potato Fennel Soup

Melt 2 tbs. butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add 2 c. fresh onions and 1 sliced fennel bulb and saut until onions are translucent,. Add 8 c. chicken broth and 1 quart diced potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to same pot. Rewarm soup if necessary. Season with salt. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved fronds and serve. 

Cucumber and Fennel Chilled Summer Soup

Cucumber and Fennel Chilled Summer Soup

Here are the ingredients used, but not in exact amounts as this soup is prepared by doing multiple batches in the food processor and this often is done by taste and eye. All batches after blending or then poured out into a large bowl to be stirred, served, and or cold stored. 

The approximate amount for one small batch that would serve 2 small portions is listed.  If you are planning on serving more than 2 small portions then you can just make multiple batches. Ideally have your cucumbers and fennel already chilled, which is normal as these are kept in the fridge generally.

1-2 cucumbers depending on size (skin, seed, and all) Cut into very large chunks. {(I have used green finger cukes, which gives the soup nice green speckles and then I did one by using the Poona Kheera and Crystal Apple Cucumbers, which gave the soup golden specks)}

1/2 of a Fennel Bulb and 1/2 of the stem and Fronds

1/4 of an apple

1/2 cup of lime basil leaves (chop a few leaves yourself and set aside for garnish)

Heavy Splashings of White Wine Vinegar

4 Very Very large spoon fulls of Nancy's low-fat organic yogurt

~1/2- 1 T of honey

~1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (have a few more sunflower seeds to sprinkle over the top of the soup as a garnish)

1-2 T of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon

After all the above is in the processor you should let them blend for a while to get the batch into a thin liquidy mixture.  If you feel as if your batch is to thick then try adding more vinegar, yogurt, and/or olive oil till it is pleasing to your desired thickness and taste. 

Chill and serve. - Arugula's Star of Neal Family Farms