With its creamy white bulb, pale green stalks and feathery leaves fennel is a pretty vegetable that is packed full of flavour. It has a distinctive aniseed flavour that goes particularly well with fish or chicken dishes. All parts of the vegetable are edible the bulb and stalk can be sliced and eaten raw or cooked and the fine leaves can be used as a garnish. Mini fennel is also available and is ideal for cooking whole. Choose small, pale green or white unblemished bulbs as dark green bulbs tend to have a bitter flavour.
How to Use
Fennel can be eaten raw or cooked. Serve slices of raw fennel with French dressing or garlic mayonnaise for dipping or as part of a salad. It can be braised and served as a side dish or cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with cheese for a supper dish.
How to Prepare
Trim off the feathery leaves and reserve for garnish, trim off the root. Leave the bulb whole or quarter or thinly slice it. To prevent discolouration, place the pieces into a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice added.
How to Cook
Fennel can be braised, sautéed or roasted. To braise, place whole fennel or slices in a pan of water or stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until cooked. To sauté, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add sliced fennel and cook for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. To roast preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a roasting tin and heat in the oven, add sliced fennel, season well and roast for 45-55 minutes or until tender.
How to Store
Keep refrigerated after purchase.