How to cook with fennel
If you haven’t already, you may soon see this delicious vegetable showing up in your Full Circle order—don’t sub it out! Fennel is a delicious and nutritious herb/vegetable that is great in summer soups and salads and helps in digestion, contains powerful antioxidants and vitamin C. Get to know this tasty bulb at the height of the season and you soon won’t be able to get enough.
What is fennel?
Fennel is a highly aromatic and flavorful vegetable that is often classified as an herb. With its light, feathery fronds that appear much like dill it has a flavor reminiscent of anise or licorice.
The feathery tops are connected to celery-like stalks and to the white or light-green bulb at the base. This bulb is the primary edible portion of the plant, though the feathery tops can be added to flavor salads or soups.
How to use fennel in your home cooking?
Start be separating the long stalks from the bulb and the feathery tops from the stalks. The stalks themselves can be used in making soup stocks and the tops can be tossed in salads or chopped and added to mirepoix for soups or for a lighter anise flavor, added at the end before serving.
The bulb should then be thoroughly washed and the base trimmed of any roots. It can then be shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced and added to a variety of salads. It has a crisp, clean flavor and light anise taste that pairs well with citrus and bright oils. Fennel can also be caramelized alongside, or in place of onions as a soup base, giving it a rich and delicate flavor.
Sliced thick and lengthwise fennel can be grilled or broiled, it can also be chopped thick and braised with short ribs or roast to a sweet rich caramel color and taste.
Try this recipe! –
- For Dressing:
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or red-wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 radishes
- 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
- 3 large navel oranges
- 3 cups washed and dried arugula or mizuna
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- Roast coriander seeds in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot and toasted, stirring, until acutely fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Grind coriander to a coarse powder in a mortar in pestle or clean spice grinder. In a small bowl, whisk together ground coriander and remaining dressing ingredients (dressing can be made 1 day in advance and chilled, covered).
- With a mandolin or other thin-slicing device, thinly slice radishes crosswise into thin circles. If the radishes are spicy, you can soak them in a bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes. This will remove much of the radishes bite and leave them crisp and mild. This trick also works on onions.
- Thinly slice fennel bulb crosswise, set aside. With a sharp knife, cutting from top to bottom, remove peel from orange and slice out each individual slice piece. Cut orange pieces crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Drain radishes well and pat dry between paper towels.
- Arrange fennel, radishes and oranges decoratively on a handful of arugula and scatter with mint. Whisk dressing and drizzle over salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.