My First Fennel

Today I was excited to pick up this little beauty during my latest trip to Reading Terminal Market (the second most Magical place in the world next to Disney World!).

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I tried fennel for the first time the other day during a lunch date with Sabrina and I was instantly in love. Can you believe I have never had a bite of fennel before? During my first taste, I enjoyed it in a salad with cutie orange slices. It was incredible.

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It’s quite an interesting looking vegetable, wouldn’t you agree? The bottom bulb looks like an onion.

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And the the top part is leafy – reminds me like the top of a celery stalk.

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According to Wikipedia fennel has some pretty awesome medicinal and culinary uses.

  • Fennel is prominently used in Mediterranean cuisine, where bulbs are used, both raw and cooked, in side dishes, salads, pastas, and vegetable dishes.
  • For adults, fennel seeds or tea can relax the intestines and reduce bloating caused by digestive disorders.
  • Indian and Ancient Roman cultures regarded fennel as the ‘herb of sight’ as it is said to improve eyesight.

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Such a nifty looking and tasty little vegetable!

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I was so excited to pick up a fennel bulb for my very own today during my shopping trip. But now the important question is – What do I do with it? Does anyone out there have any amazing fennel recipes for me? I love doing my own research online, but it’s more fun when you try a good recipe that a friend suggests, don’t you think?

Let me know if you have any ideas for me!

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Are you a fellow fennel lover?

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10 Comments

  • Reply Suzanad January 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I like fennel seeds! I've boiled them for tea before, and I've been to indian restaurants where the seeds are offered with sugar crystals as a dessert 🙂

  • Reply Alex @ I Eat Asphalt January 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Oh my gosh you can do so many great things! In the winter I love roasting fennel and beets together. It's also really good to serve really thin raw slices with grapefruit wedges as a side dish to fish.

  • Reply John at PHL Parking January 14, 2011 at 6:14 am

    I love baked fennel, I learned a lot recipes from barefoot contessa and they are really worth trying.

  • Reply cucinaamanda January 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I love Giada's recipe of vegetable Parmesan. You grill the fennel along with peppers and eggplant, then layer and bake like you would chicken Parmesan. It's seriously to die for. The fennel flavor really comes through!

  • Reply Savannah January 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I like to add it roast it with a whole chicken, potatoes, sweet potaotes, carrots, turnips, and beets. Line the pan with roughly chopped veggies that have been tossed in sea salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, thyme, and EVOO. Lightly rub chicken with butter, and stuff cavity with butter, rosemary, and thyme, I use four sprigs of each. Roast for about 60 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

  • Reply Sara @ Running In Pink Project January 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Ive been tempted to try cooking with fennel. Rachael Ray (who I LOVE) uses it in several of her recipes.

  • Reply patty O January 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I had fennel in a salad and it tasted good. Let me know if you try and dishes – like to try again. The whole vegetable looks scary, doesn't it?
    Might be worth eating for stomach maladies –

  • Reply stampylisa January 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    i slice it super thin for salads raw, or it's great roasted w/beets & apples, or beets/sweet taters, squash & parsnips. then when I plate that up with brown rice & raw kale it's an excellent nutrient filled dish. mmm I love fennel but only in the past couple of years. I also have used it in soups in place of celery. My husb can't have celery, but the stalks (normally get tossed) are great stand-ins.

  • Reply stampylisa January 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    p.s. my roasted veggies also get evoo, as well as a generous drizzle of honey & maple syrup or balsamic vinegar.

  • Reply Sherry June 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I had bought my very first fennel bulb and had not idea what to do with it, so I got creative 😛 I diced cucumbers and tomatoes, added thinly sliced fennel, basil chiffonade, lots of sea salt and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. It was so delicious… I skipped “dinner” that night and just nibbled on the single side dish throughout the evening. I have made it since without the fennel and it is not nearly as good 😀

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