Fennel’s strong anise-like flavor has great potential and can also be a bit challenging. It is a vegetable that has grown on me in the last few years and I’ve developed a variety of ways to prepare it, both cooked and raw, that I truly enjoy.
Fennel’s strong flavor can be front and center like in the classic Italian salad of very thinly shaved fennel, orange sections, thinly sliced red onion and briny black olives–a truly inspired combination. Fennel is fantastic slowly sautéed/braised, roasted, or grilled. It makes a sublime pizza topping or pasta sauce or side to fish or meat. Fennel seed has many culinary uses and is often used in pickled vegetables.
You may very well get your fennel with some of the fronds still attached. They make a lovely garnish or addition to salads and soups so don’t throw them away. The bulbs keep quite well in the refrigerator, up to two weeks or so.
A Place To Start