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Is wild fennel edible?

c
chocolatetartguy Jul 7, 2006 07:05 PM

You know, that fennel that grows everywhere in the SF Bay Area, including my back yard. Is it edible or should I just chop it down with the dandelions and rogue blackberry canes?

  1. p
    petradish Jul 7, 2006 08:10 PM

    Definitely use what's in your backyard!

    The feathery green bits can be used like a fresh herb in salads or soups.

    The tall stalks can become a bed for roasting fish. Another idea linked below for the tender parts.

    Collect the pollen when the yellow flowers lose their stickiness and dry it out on a tray. Sprinkle it over salad, chicken, seafood, or infuse its flavor into sauces, ice cream, or panna cotta .

    Harvest the seeds when they've dried. They make an excellent rub for porchetta. Infuse some vodka or Everclear with your seeds.

    This recipe for wild fennel cakes looks interesting:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

    Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: petradish
      a
      Aaron Jul 8, 2006 02:14 AM

      Diddo...The fronds are incredible.
      I particularly like roasting a side of salmon on a bed of them, or stuffing them in a pork loin.

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