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Learn to Love: Fennel

You either love it or hate it. I am talking about the black licorice taste of fennel. Me? I love it and you should learn to love it too. This veggie, related to carrots, dill and coriander, is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Fennel's antioxidant make up is unique and contains nutrients that have been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer in animal studies. It is also high in vitamin C, folate and fiber. Used in Mediterranean and Indian cooking, fennel is considered a digestive aid.

The entire plant, from the white bulb to the feathery green fronds, is edible. Chop up the fronds and toss them into a salad. The bulb is a great salad addition as well, but is also tasty when braised, sautéed, or roasted. Fennel seeds can be used as a rub for pork or chicken.

Fennel is in peak season right now, making it extra delicious, cheaper and more readily available. Bulbs can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge. Try this beet and fennel salad tonight if you're curious to taste fennel but don't know what to do with it.

Do you love fennel or hate it? Share your fennel feelings in the comment section below.


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
andrennabird andrennabird 9 years
I love fennel! I make a fennel and citrus salad by using thin slices of fennel and segments of whatever citrus I have around. Delicious.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
It's so delicious! I love it raw AND roasted. My favorite way to eat it is very thinly sliced and dressed with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil, mixed with some spinach and carrots. It's kind of like coleslaw, only better.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
my mother swears that this cures gas
linb linb 9 years
I've never tried it. It tastes like black licorice!?!?
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
I generally don't like the taste of fennel. Never been a fan of the black licorice taste. The only thing I will eat fennel in is a salad that Giada made on her show on FN. She carmelized fennel and pancetta with brown sugar, and spread it over baby greens. It is SO GOOD!
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
I looooove fennel. I bought a mandoline a while back just so I could thinly slice fennel to make myself fennel salads. Yum.
hlj504 hlj504 9 years
I really thing I am allergic to fennel! At least, it doesn't settle well with me. Whenever I eat something that contains it, I get a seriously upset stomach. Fennel is always the common denominator in meals that cause this. No fennel for me!
rpenner rpenner 9 years
i don't think i've ever had fennell, but i do not like licorice at all so i don't think i'd be to keen on trying this
marcella marcella 9 years
I bought some yesterday and am experimenting with it. I'm on this new kick where I am trying all kinds of things I've never cooked before -- I just ate a rutabaga and carrot salad with hemp seeds that I made for lunch. It was lovely!
michlny michlny 9 years
I love fennel! Whole Foods makes the best salads with fennel. Yum.
cageyme cageyme 9 years
Fennel tea is good for loosening up congested lungs. I have asthma and I love to steep a teaspoon of fennel seeds with a pinch of dried marjoram in a cup of hot water for about 5 minutes. (Steep longer for a stronger taste.) It's a great herbal remedy.
ChicaCity ChicaCity 9 years
Can't like it - I've tried. I hate that licorice taste!
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo 9 years
I hate raw fennel, but I looooooove it roasted! Slice it up into 1/2 inch slices, drizzle with olive oil (and stir to evenly coat) then just pop it in the oven and forget about it for an hour or so. The flavor goes from being OMG SO LICORISHY to being really mellow and sweet and yummy.
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
I love fennel! I am so glad to here it is so good for you.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i really just can't stand the taste of black licorice. i pick the fennel out of my thai spring rolls every day at lunch.
silly3 silly3 9 years
I have a great recipe that involves simmering fennel and red onion in orange juice, adding couscous, and then topping it with grilled chicken. It's delicious and the fennel flavor is apparent but not overpowering.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I like it in small doses, otherwise it's too overpowering for me.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I hate it. It is one of the very few tastes that I hate, licorice! I sometimes pretend I am allergic to it, but not seriously. I dont usually order things that it comes with, especially the seeds.
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