Fennel has a sweet, mild licorice flavor and is not to be confused with herb anise, which is grown for its seeds and sold as seasoning. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds.
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folate, and molybdenum. In addition, fennel is a good source of niacin as well as the minerals phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper.
Tightly wrap fresh fennel in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one week
Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Fennel’s esteemed reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.
The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further.
The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb. If your recipe requires chunked, diced or julienned fennel, it is best to first remove the harder core that resides in the center before cutting it. The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the feathery leaves can be used as an herb seasoning, like dill weed, to flavor soups and stews.
Celery (more aromatic, cooks faster)
1 tsp fennel seed = 1 lb of fennel,
1 tablespoon Pernod (liqueur) = 1 lb of fennel
Bok choy stems
1 lb fennel = 3 cups sliced