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Guide to Fennel

In Season: Fennel

It's surprising that a hardy green such as fennel is so unknown to so many home cooks, especially considering the vegetable's adaptability: Its bulb, stalks, and fronds are all completely edible, either raw or cooked, and it possesses a pleasing, mild anise flavor. Although it's a perennial, fennel can be found at a reasonable price during Autumn months. Fennel newbies can sniff it at the market for a hint of the flavor to come. Select sturdy bulbs that are firm and free of blemishes, with vibrant, healthy fronds. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, for use within 3 to 5 days. Before preparing, trim the vegetable of any discolored or tough outer layers. Discover your favorite way to use it when you read more.

The meatiest part of fennel lies in its firm white bulbs, which have the crunch of celery with a slight licorice flavor, but don't discount the stalks and fronds, which can be used as flavoring for just about any kind of dish. Some serving suggestions:

Are you familiar with fennel? How do you incorporate it into your cooking?

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Join The Conversation
Food Food 7 years
suziryder, I had never been a licorice fan, either — but fennel had such subtle flavors that I found I really liked it. So there's hope still!
suziryder suziryder 7 years
Not *too* keen... sorry the English major in me won't let that go uncorrected :P
suziryder suziryder 7 years
I don't know.. I don't think I've ever had fennel but I'm not to keen to try it, since I hate hate hate licorice and anise flavors... :( But I keep seeing interesting-looking recipies that involve it so maybe someday I'll be brave!
michlny michlny 7 years
Whole Foods salad bar always has a great salad with fennel - I always pick out all the fennel for my bowl!
AlexisSF AlexisSF 7 years
i love fennel!!
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