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Fresh fennel

Looking for the best use to use my Fresh fennel. I've red about some good fennel & potato salads. What do you guys like to use fennel with?

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  1. I steam green beans, slice the fennel very finely(either by hand or mandoline). I serve it as a salad with a lemon juice vin and shaved Parm.

    1. saute it with some onion and use in risotto.

      1 Reply
      1. re: howchow

        Mostly raw, as a savory after the meal. Great roasted in wedges with pork; superb in a sliced orange, black olive, red onion, and thinly shaved fennel salad, dressed with good extra virgin olive oil and a bit of fresh orange juice from the leftover peel. Scatter the fronds on top.

      2. I personally like Fennel Gratin made with a good quality parmesan cheese. Great served lukewarm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          I like to layer fennel with potatoes and mushrooms in a gratin. top with a bit of Gruyère'

          Fennel also goes great oven roasted with potatoes, with the addition of onions.

          Fennel is a great to substitute for celery in a summer mirepoix. It can be stronger then celery, so you might want to try it 50/50 with celery.

        2. Fennel goes really well with tomatoes. I use it in stewed or slow cooked tomato dishes like pasta sauces, cioppino, and as part of the base in a tomato soup.

          Also, tomato salad is great with some thinly sliced raw fennel. I marinate mine in lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper for about 30 minutes. Use some heirloom tomatoes and toss them with the fennel.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sgwood415

            I like to braise it with red onions and apples and use it as a side with seared fish or even roast pork

          2. Fennel is one of those diecious plants that does not have the reproductive capacity in a single plant. The female plant is sweeter than the male plant. The female plant is more bulbous that the root end while the male plant has an elongated shape similar to celery. We always get the female plant which is used in several Italian-style dishes and salads.

            I often use fennel as a substitute for celery in recipes that call for the latter. We've also eaten it uncooked as if it were celery.

            Let your imagination run wild, or to quote the title of a 1962 movie that was on TCM last night..."Walk On The Wild Side." The theme song from the movie is a favorite of mine.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChiliDude

              du. du-du. du,du-du-du. She said "hey babe".......

              Well that's very interesting. I bought a fennel plant (for the garden) and it is about as sorry as my dill. I had huge hopes after purchasing what were obviously female plants from the grocery. How would you know what the gender is when purchasing a garden plant?

              1. re: SweetPea

                Mi dispiace, SweetPea! I don't have solution to the garden plant problem unless the plant is already developing stalks and you can see if the root end of the stalks are voluptuous.

              2. re: ChiliDude

                Good call on the celery sub. I've used it in mirepoix and sofrito as a sub for some of the onion too.

              3. I love the citrus-fennel combination in a pasta sauce - saute a few chopped cloves of garlic in olive oil, then add fennel (halve the bulb and slice 1/4") and cook until it starts to get tender... then add a big box or can of chopped or ground tomatoes, and cook until you like the texture, then add lemon or orange zest at the very end, right before saucing the pasta. so good, especially with a dry ricotta grated on top, and it's very summery-tasting.

                I also like it in a salad, sliced very thin with grapefruit sections and thinly sliced red onion or shallot...

                1. I cook my fennel with shrimp, feta and tomatoes on the stovetop. The fennel tones way down as it cooks, but you still get a trace of the anise flavor.

                  Pictures here: http://cavecibum.blogspot.com/2007/05...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pamalamb

                    I've made delicious fennel ice cream.

                    Cook a chopped fennel bulb in one cup of milk, with a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar and a split vanilla bean until the fennel is soft. Strain, and discard the fennel. Add about 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of Pernod to the fennel-infused milk,. Temper two egg yolks with some of the milk-cream before whisking them into the mixture. Put the resulting custard back on a low flame and stir it until it thickens a bit, then refrigerate until it cools. When it was cold, freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

                    1. re: Lippy

                      As part of a pasta dish similar to Pasta con Sarde, but sometimes leaving out the sardines, which can be difficult to find fresh (although some anchovies sauteed in the beginning is nice): Saute some chopped, sliced or diced fennel, onions, garlic, the optional anchovies; optional, as you have or feel like: golden raisins-soaked, chopped black olives, saffron, pine nuts. Combine with any pasta you like- I often use bucatini (perciatelli); can top with grated cheese, but I prefer toasted bread crumbs. As a nice last touch, I sprinkle on some fennel pollen.

                  2. We quarter large bulbs length wise, splash some olive oil and sherry vinegar, and hit w/salt and pepper, and throw it on the grill. Goes great with grilled fish, pork, some poultry...

                    that works well with bok choy, too.

                    1. Wow, such great ideas. I love this salad from Sunset magazine using green olives, fennel, and oranges. A teensy bit of Tabasco whisked into the oil is good, too.


                      1. This is from a 2003 issue of Organic Style.

                        Chickpea Salad with Fennel and Scallions

                        1/4 C white wine vinegar (or to taste)
                        1/4 t salt (or to taste)
                        1/4 t pepper (or to taste)
                        1/2 C GOOD evoo
                        2 T finely chopped parsley
                        2 T finelychopped fennel fronds
                        2 10 oz cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
                        2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and diced
                        3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
                        red pepper flakes to taste (optional,but good)

                        marinate overnight in the fridge and serve at room temp over romaine or whatever

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: SweetPea

                          I made this the other night and it was delicious. Thanks for posting it.


                          1. re: beetlebug

                            Beautiful! So much prettier than when it's chopped finely!

                        2. I slice it up and put it in a casserole dish with chopped garlic, some chopped onion, olive oil, some butter and a squeeze of lemon. It takes about half an hour or more in the oven, and is delicious with fish.

                          1. In one of Alice Waters' cookbooks, she writes about a favorite fennel salad thinly sliced with fresh green apples. Don't recall a vinaigrette, just that it sounded appealing (no pun intended).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Carrie 218

                              Is that the one with juniper berries, with lime juice and olive oil, and then topped with toasted pine nuts, and some parmaggiano reggiano shavings when served? That's a nice one.

                            2. I recently made a fennel frond cake/pattie with bread crumbs and fennel fronds which was very good.

                              1. On Sunday we went to Outstanding In The Field. They served slow roasted pork chops and pork tenderloins with roated potatoes and braised fennel. The fennel was thinly sliced and the braised until soft. It was amazing. I think the preparation was very simple, probably olive oil, salt & pepper. But fennel with pork, yum.

                                1. I love using fennel as celery substitute, especially because I harbor a kind of secret animosity for celery for some reason, despite how ubiquitous it is in my cooking (maybe I resent always needing to having it around). I also love to make roasted fennel salad and citrus salad, (mix of blood and regular oranges are great) with a salty fresh cheese like feta or queso añejo.

                                  1. This thread got me thinking about other ways to use fennel, so I came up with a tasty salad. Very simple to make, but it tastes really complex.

                                    2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly, plus 3 or 4 fronds, chopped
                                    2 ears of corn, cooked, kernels scraped off
                                    juice of 1 lime
                                    pinch of sugar
                                    pinch of salt

                                    Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure everything is coated in the lime juice. Season with sugar and salt to taste.

                                    Picture here: http://cavecibum.blogspot.com/2007/07...

                                    1. Fennel tart -- cook onion and fennel together until fennel softens, add tomato paste, tomato, herbs (i like basil, fennel fronds, rosemary -- whatever I have on hand), cook in a tart shell (425, for around 15 min)
                                      Fennel w/ pasta: as above, cook fennel w/ onion until softened, add fennel fronds, put over pasta
                                      Fennel orange salad: fennel, spring green onions, orange slices mixed w/ olive oil and white balsalmic vinegar

                                      1. There are some lovely ideas on this topic! Mine is not the most exciting, but for a quick weeknight supper vegetable, I like to toss raw sliced fennel with a lemon and dijon vinaigrette (lemon juice, dijon, olive oil, smidge honey, S&P) and toasted poppy seeds. Very nice with fish dishes, or unsauced grilled meat.