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Aug 29, 2006 10:46 PM

Blanching Fennel for a Salad?

When, if ever, would you blanche a fennel bulb for a raw, cold, salad? I mean, even if you take off the "tough outer leaves" and cut away the core (like all the recipes say), raw fennel can still be quite tough and not crisp.

Does it depend upon the type of fennel or whether it's male or female?


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  1. Never heard of blanching fennel for salad..just slice it very thin. It's crisp if fresh.

    2 Replies
    1. re: serious

      I ask because some people suggest it, and I wanted to know if anyone thought it would make a better salad.


      1. re: TexasToast

        I serve fennel salads pretty often, particularly for company and I've never blanched the bulb. Given the positive effect of blanching on some crudites, I think it's worth investigating. I'll give it try and try to remember to check in with my results!

    2. I've blanched fennel for use in a salad and I think it's a good step. It doesn't make it too limp but does make it easier to eat.

      1. I'm in the "never blanched" camp. Have fixed many a fennel salad and never blanched. It's the crispness that you want in the salad. I would think that blanching would make the fennel limp or at least soft, not what I would want. Dress the salad a little early and I think it will be outstanding.

        1. I'll try the blanching method next time. But, usually I just toss the shaved fennel with the dressing ahead of time and have pretty good results. Add some of the fronds to the mix for a textural and flavor contrast.

          1. I never blanch fennel for salad. Besides changing the texture, some of the fresh licorce taste is lost.