Kieran McCourt, Weavers Way Ambler
Fun Fact No. 1: It’s a member of the carrot family, and No. 2: Its flavor is in the licorice family.
Fun Fact No. 3: You can use the entire plant —feathery fronds, stalks and bulb
- The green stalks have a celery-like texture. Put them in a freezer bag to save for stocks. It gives them a nice sweetness.
- Chop the fronds to use as a mildly anise-flavored garnish.
The bulb is great sliced raw in a salad, but also:
- Braise fennel in the oven, adding herbs or orange peel. If you braise in oil, the oil acts as a temperature regulator, and the fennel flesh will get soft and delicate. It makes a nice side dish, tossed with apples, pears, celeriac or beets.
- Add the chopped bulb to your soup base, along with onion, celery and carrot (a/k/a mirepoix).
- Cooked-down fennel can be made into a confit to be spread on crostini or a baguette.