Fennel has a light but distinct anise, or licorice, flavor. It's super crisp and refreshing when raw, but melts into a savory sweetness when slowly cooked. It has culinary and medicinal uses and is one of the three main herbs in absinthe. Indigenous to the Mediterranean since ancient times and now naturalized throughout the world it is sometimes considered to be a invasive species. The most familiar variety is Florence fennel with its bulb structure. It is closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.
Availability may vary by variety and with weather conditions.
Store fennel loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. It should last about 10 days;
Fennel's high water content makes it prone to freezing in overly-cold fridges, so do not let it get too cold.
Cut off and discard stalks, unless the dish calls for them. Trim the bottom of the bulb and peel off any wilted or browning layers from the outside of the bulb. Cut the bulb in half, lay the halves are their flat, cut sides and quarter, slice, or chop as you like.
Delicious raw, served with kosher salt to dip the pieces in or with dip, or as a crunchy addition to salads.
Tender and sweet when cooked. Add it as wedges or slices to sautées, roast it, add it to the pan with other vegetables when roasting a chicken, or slowly cook it in olive oil or butter until tender and gently browning.