Fennel

About Me: Fennel is a flowering plant in the carrot family. It is highly aromatic and tastes like licorice. At our farm we usually like to grow fennel just to a baby size. We find the licorice flavour a bit milder and super tasty. Fennel is very good for you. It’s high in dietary fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. What’s best, the whole fennel is edible – the bulb, the stalks, and the fronds.

To store: Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb, and if you want to use the feathery foliage as an herb, place the dry stalks upright in a glass filled with two inches of water. Cover the glass loosely with a reused plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for few days. Put the fennel bulb in a mesh bag, or paper towel, and then place inside a bag, or container inside your fridge crisper. It will keep for about two-three weeks.

To freeze: Remove fronds from stems and bulbs. Cut stems and bulbs into desired thickness and soak in water for a few minutes to remove soil. Pat dry then blanch cut pieces for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers, and freeze. Use in soups, stews, and casseroles all through the winter months. For the fronds use a food processor to pulse them with olive oil. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil per 1 cup of fronds and add to ice cube trays to freeze. You can also easily incorporate them into a sauce or dip and freeze it for later.

Recipes:

Cabbage Fennel Apple Soup

Potato Fennel Soup

Kale and Fennel Citrus Salad

Harissa Carrot and Fennel with Lentils and Yogurt

Pasta + Tomato Fennel Confit + Whipped Feta