Cooking With Fennel

Cooking With Fennel

Fennel is indigenous to the Mediterranean. It is a flowering herbaceous plant that is related to celery, carrot and parsley.

Fennel has found a place in today’s kitchens for two reasons, its interesting flavor profile and the variety of forms in which it is available.

Top – Fennel Seeds & Fennel Seed Powder – Bottom – Dried Fennel Fruit Or Fronds

The feathery leaves (also called fronds) are used as an aromatic garnish. The fronds can be used fresh or dried.

Fennel oil and seeds are common ingredients used for flavoring foods. The seeds can be used whole or in powder form.

Fennel Bulb

The shoots and bulb at the foliage base can be cooked and served as a vegetable.

There are three types of fennel. One is the wild fennel (not used in culinary applications). The other two are:

  • Herb Fennel

Mainly cultivated for the purpose of obtaining its seeds to use as an herb for flavoring food. It is also called sweet fennel.

  • Vegetable Fennel

Cultivated for the purpose as an editable vegetable. It has feathery leaves or called fronds, with thick, fleshy stalks, and the bulb is at the base of the foliage.

Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

Make This Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad Prepared With Fennel Fronds

Cooking With Fennel

The bulb is the part of the fennel you will use most frequently.

When you shop for fennel at your local market or farmers market, look for the whitest, firmest bulbs you can find, with at least three inches of stalk.

Buying the vegetable with its stalk keeps the bulb layers from drying out quickly. And this is important if you do not use the bulb right away.

Cook’s Notes

Do not wash fennel until you are ready to use it. You can also slice or chop the stems and use like celery.

Also note the outer layers attach to the bulb, as they should not not look spongy but rather firm as well as the stalks.

You can use the vegetable raw in salads, like this Peach & Shaved Fennel Salad or sandwiches. You can also cook it with soups or roasted alone or mixed with other vegetables.

You can also use the seeds either whole or powder form to flavor your recipes. Like with this Baked Indian Spiced Salmon.

More Recipes Using Fennel

Use fennel anyway you like. Here are some more recipes using fennel.


Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette
Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette

Fennel Seeds & Roasted Vegetables

Fennel & Salads

Fennel has been part of Italian cuisine for a millennia. It is a vegetable that yields no waste if you take the time to use each one of its unique parts.

More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

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