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ISO Fennel Recipes...

Someone gave us a fennel bulb this year, and we grew it with much success. Unfortunately, I've never been a big fennel fan, so I have no idea what to do with it. I'm willing to consider pretty much anything...Any ideas? (FYI: I did have mussels in a white wine broth with shaved fennel at a restaurant, and thought it was divine, so I CAN like it).

Also, once pulled, how long will the fennel keep, and must I use it all at once?

Thanks!!

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  1. I thought for years that I didn't like fennel, but it turns out I just don't like raw fennel -- cooked (especially roasted) it's great! My favorite way is to cut it into wedges, leaving enough of the bottom to hold each wedge together (having cut off and discarded the stalks and fronds), then add cherry tomatoes, black olives, roughly chopped garlic, fresh thyme (or could use oregano or marjoram if that's what you have), olive oil, S&P, and a bit of dry vermouth or white wine if you have it, and roast at 425 for about 30 to 45 minutes unitl very tender. Yum!

    1. GretchenS is right about roasting fennel...it's yummy that way! But I do it a little differently... more au gratin style...with bechamel sauce, a sprinkle of nutmeg, grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese & bread crumbs over the top.

      Or you could chop some up raw & throw it in a salad with peeled oranges & grapefruits, salad greens, and olives.

      I've kept fennel bulbs in the fridge for about 2 weeks & were still ok....but I really dont know how long they keep, and I really don't like to keep fresh veggies in the fridge for so long...usually I use them up much sooner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: msmarabini

        One of our favorite ways to eat fennel is in a salad. Baby spinich, white beans, finely chopped red onion, shaved fennel tossed with a lemon and garlic vinegrette and topped with shaved parm or Manchego.

      2. Crockpot Chicken with Fennel

        By putting the bulb of the fennel inside the cavity of the chicken adds a black licorice taste to the meat.

        Ingredients

        3 lb. whole roasting chicken
        1 small fennel bulb and 1/4 cup leaves
        1 lb. baby carrots
        1 leek, trimmed and chopped
        1 qt. chicken broth to cover

        Directions

        Remove giblets and discard or freeze for another use. Rinse chicken and remove skin if you wish. Place in the crockpot. Wash the fennel, leaving the bulb whole and mincing the leaves. Place the fennel bulb inside the cavity of chicken. Sprinkle the leaves around the chicken. Chop leeks and carrots and add to the crockpot. Add the broth to cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, then cool in fridge. Once cool, skim off all fat and remove chicken from bones. Chop the fennel bulb and add back into the pot. Put meat back in crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve over noodles or biscuits if desired.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chew on That

          I use fennel in Greek salad. I use only a very small amount of one and admit I just toss the rest. But it does add just the right snappy zing to the Greek salad. The way I use it is to add a small amount of shaved fennel in with the greens (romaine lettuce.) I can post a good Greek salad recipe later tonight:-)

        2. Thanks so much for the suggestions! I'm going to try a tiny bit raw in my greek salad tonight, but I have a feeling that's the flavor I don't like, so I'm definitely going to roast the rest. GretchenS, it sounds fantastic. Do you serve it with some crusty bread? Wow...I'm actually excited about fennel now!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bflocat

            Another nice salad is to slice the fennel extremely thin (I use a mandoline), toss with some black olives, orange sections (blood oranges are best in season, but navels will do), optional thin slices of red onion, a little extra-virgin olive oil, possibly some of the orange juice from the remaining sectioned orange, S & P, garnish with the fennel fronds. Very refreshing.

          2. It is also wonderful in soups. You can make an onion and fennel soup that only has the slightest taste of the fennel (if you want something that masks that flavor), or you can try something that shows it off. I love the stuff ... wish I had your bonanza of it!

            1. Cooking fennel gives it entirely different taste. I like roasting it like Gretchen suggested but adding garlic cloves, onion wedges and cauliflower. Also it carmelizes really well like onions. I once made crostini for a party by thinly slicing a couple bulbs along with a couple onions, slow cooking them and then putting up top of some garlic toasts. YUM. Fennel is seriously my fave, very jealous. It doesnt keep very well in the fridge however, it starts to shrivel and get soft. I would use it within a couple of days.

              1. Cut triangular pieces, roll them in olive oil, and then bread crumbs. Bake for ? 15-20 minutes at 350-375. Yum.

                1. I usually roast it as others have already mentioned or else eat it shaved in a salad (I always include celery: it seems to change the flavour a little, possibly away from the taste you don't like?). For another option, my Dutch grandmother braised it in chicken stock, butter and shallots and it was a good side dish way. Alas we can't ask her exactly what she did, but I think it might have involved some browned bread crumbs sprinkled on at serving time.

                  1. Another one I forgot was a Sicilian salad that is ALWAYS a show stopper. Cut up raw fennel in slices and let it fall apart. Add sweet navel oranges cutting slices in half and them throw in your favorite type of black olive (I prefer dried from Morocco). Add salt and olive oil to taste. Buon Appetito!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Campania

                      i love this salad - i also throw in some mint and spring onions

                    2. Since widely available corn in the U.S. largely sucks... I have come to prepare Fennel bulbs like a haute version street style Mexican corn. I roast the fennel, prepare a creamy Chiltepin sauce... spoon it over the softened bulp, top it with shaved Cotija cheese... and let roast for another 5 minutes. Either eat it warm... or you can let it come to room temperature slice it... and serve over Butter lettuce leaves & sliced Heirloom tomatoes for a different take on Salad.

                      1. Classic recipes -
                        Raw. Slice into wedges removing inner core (hard); I actually like that hard part in the middle so I add it. Drizzle with the best EVOO you can get, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Optional: shaved parm
                        Cooked - Cut in wedges. Blanch for a few minutes in boiling slightly salted water. Butter a baking dish. Dot with butter and top with grated parm. Bake until fork tender and top is golden.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: itryalot

                          I was going to post that exact cooked recipe but you beat me to it! I forget where I saw it but it's been a winner over the last 5 years or so. I find it best to use a coarse grate for the cheese, and plenty of it.

                        2. the "roasted arctic char and fennel" recipe, found at epicurious.com is perfect, hot or room temperature.

                          1. i like this salad very much from a local italian restaurant: shaved fennel on baby arugula dressed with a lemony vinaigrette and shaved parm or pecorino.