Fennel also sometimes called anise tastes like a cross between celery, leeks and licorice . Most people really don’t think about using it or are afraid to because of the licorice flavor.
When choosing fresh fennel, look for ones that have clean, firm and solid bulbs. Avoid any bulbs that have signs of splitting or bruising.
Bulbs should be a pale green color, while the stalks and leaves should be a brighter green. The leaves should be fresh looking and not wilted.
Be sure to choose fennel that doesn’t have flowers on the leaves. The flowers or buds means the vegetable is past maturity.
Here are a few different ways to use fennel:
- Add thinly sliced raw fennel to a salad.
- Slice and use as a hamburger topping
- Add chopped fennel stalks to soups or stews.
- Sauté garlic, onions and fennel for a delicious topping for sandwiches.
- 1/2 cup of raw fennel has 0 fat and is only 14 calories.
I sliced it and mixed it with broccoli, olive oil and salt and pepper than roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. To my surprise the combination was a perfect blend. It compliments well with chicken or salmon as a side dish. Make a lot because you will want seconds!