UCAN Vegetable Spotlight | Presenting: Fennel

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by Stephanie Forbes

I know you are wondering what type of vegetable this is. Well, it is called Fennel.  It is a flowering plant in the carrot family. I don’t think Bugs Bunny ever ate Fennel. It is a perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, Fennel is technically a herb. Most say that the white bulb is similar to black licorice. While the seeds can be used to ground or whole as a spice. The featherly leaves of the upper part of the plant are similar in appearance to dill and have a wide variety of culinary uses. The bulb can be eaten raw, braised, sauteed or grilled. I was rather curious so I decided to see how this would taste. I used the following  Roasted Fennel Recipe. The bulbs looked like onions but it did not taste like licorice as some would say. I would recommend cooking this with chicken because it provides a sweet taste when caramelized in the Balsamic Vinaigrette. But wait, what about the top part of the Fennel?. We can’t let that part go to waste. Here are some ideas on what to do with the featherly stalks.

Remember Fennel is like a herb so you can mix chopped fennel fronds (this is the top of the fenell) into pestos, salsas, stocks, curries and vinaigrettes for added hit of freshness. Maybe try it in your yogurt, eggs, stir-fries, and seared meats. I hope you give Fennel a chance. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Urban Community AgriNomics | www.ucan.today

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