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Mar 21, 2005 04:56 PM

Does fennel always turn a translucent light green/gray when you cook it?

  • w

I love fennel and have tried cooking it a couple of ways. I've parboiled halved bulbs for 10 minutes, then sliced them and sauteed them (I think I got this method from a Marcella Hazan or Mario Batali book); and, I've sauteed them without boiling first. The results are usually very tasty, but the end result is always an unappetizing color, a dull, translucent greenish-gray. Is that just the way it is with fennel, or are there some "tricks" to cooking this stuff that I don't know about?

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  1. My guess is that you are using a reactive saucepan and that fennel is sensitive. to it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JudiAU
      Webley Webster

      I usually cook it in a stainless steel pan.

      1. re: JudiAU

        from my experience, it depends how you are cooking it. Sauteing it in butter, for example, often leads to a pleasing tanning onion colour. Sometimes when I braise it goes translucent rather than the grey-green tinge. I braise it in wine and stock, first searing it with some EVOO. But in terms of baking/roasting, it always goes that colour in my experience. Hence the need to bury it under cheese!

      2. I think that's just the way it is. I make finocchio all the time and it always comes out kind of ugly but delicious. You can make it look prettier if you add leeks into the sautee or braise. They taste really good together and are in season at the same time.