Fennel is a perennial herb having yellow flowers and feather-like leaves. This versatile vegetable belongs to the carrot family.
Fennel has a complex, crispy texture and a sweet flavor that resembles anise and licorice.
This incredible herb grows all year round, though the best season is between October and April. So, you can buy this herb from any local grocery store.
Fennels are an excellent way to make food more delicious, healthy, and appealing. Therefore, you can use this exciting ingredient in several dishes and salads to enhance the flavor and beauty of food.
Like many other vegetables, you can store fennels in the refrigerator. It will last for 2-3 weeks easily without going rancid.
Fennels are nutritious herbs containing high amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, and fibers. All these essential minerals make the body fit and healthy.
What is a fennel?
Fennel is a perennial herb that belongs to the carrot family. This tiny herb contains yellow flowers and feathery leaves, making it unique.
Fennels have an intense flavor like anise and licorice. These herbs are hard and crispy in texture.
This beneficial herb is rich in essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, etc., necessary for the body’s healthy development.
Fennel herb grows widely worldwide, especially in the coastal regions. Moreover, people have also planted this herb in their garden because of its benefits.
When are fennels in season?
Fennel is a delicious vegetable that usually grows the whole year, and its peak growth months are between October and April.
In these months, you can buy different types of fennel from every local grocery store. Moreover, you can store fennels for future use as well.
Which parts of the fennel are edible?
Interestingly all parts of the fennel are edible, and you can use each part of this fundamental herb according to your mood. For instance, the fennel stalk is firm to use in salads for a crispy sweet flavor. On the other hand, the feathery leaves of fennel are best for garnishing soups and stews.
You can use fennel bulbs (raw or cooked) in several dishes to enhance the delicacy and flavor of food.
What does fennel taste like?
Fennels have a sweet taste that closely resembles licorice and anise. When you use fennels after frying, it becomes even sweeter in flavor.
Besides that, you can use raw fennel in soups, stew, salad, and tea to experience its exact flavor and aroma.
What is the texture of the fennel?
The fresh fennel has a hard crispy texture like celery and other herbs. You can use this crispy herb after roasting; roasting can make it a bit tender.
You dice or chop the fennels and sprinkle them over the salad to have a crunchy, crispy flavor in every bite.
Does fennel have varieties?
Yes, the fennel has varieties, and they are available in the market to choose your favorite one easily.
Of all varieties, the most common is Florence fennel, which has a mild sweet taste. You can use it to make some yummy recipes because it tastes milder after cooking correctly.
How to cut fennel?
To cut fennel;
- Take a sharp knife.
- Place the raw fennel on the cutting board.
- Chop or dice the fennel according to your need.
- Put the fennel in airtight containers.
- Place in the fridge or freezer to avoid rancidity.
How to cook fennel?
Fennel is a highly healthy kitchen ingredient that you can use to make some delicious food items for serving at official dinners and family gatherings.
You can make soups, stews, and salads with fennels. Moreover, you can grill, roast, and bake the fennels before serving them with sauces or spices.
How to make fennel tea?
Fennel seeds have an intense aroma that makes them unique and worthy. You can use these seeds for making tea and other drinks. However, fennel tea is the best way to experience the seeds’ intense flavor and aroma.
For making fennel tea;
- Boil water in a pot.
- Add fennel seeds and boil them for a few minutes.
- Strain the tea with the help of a filter.
- Add mint leaves and serve.
Like ginger tea, fennel tea is also very beneficial for health because it improves digestion, helps shed weight, and prevents blood clotting in veins.
What dishes can you make with fennel?
Fennel is an exciting kitchen ingredient that you can use to make several delicious dishes for serving at gatherings and dinner parties.
The dishes that you can prepare are as follows;
- Fennel gratin
- Roast fennels
- Smoked trout salad with fennel
- Fennel and celery salad
- Steak sandwich with fennel slaw
- Crunchy pickle salad
- Fennel and apple soup
How to store fennel?
Like many other ingredients, you can store fennels in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid rancidity. Properly stored fennels can last 3-4 weeks in the fridge and a month in the freezer.
For storing fennels in the refrigerator;
- Take a resealable bag or an airtight container.
- Cut the fennels and put them in the resealable bag.
- Place the bag in the fridge.
For freezing the fennels;
- Chop the fennels.
- Place the fennels on a baking sheet.
- Freeze them for a few hours.
- Once they are cool enough, remove the fennels from the freezer.
- Take a resealable bag or a container.
- Put fennels in the container.
- Place the container in the freezer.
Does fennel taste similar to black licorice?
No, fennels do not taste exactly like black licorice. They have a sweet anise-like taste that is not as strong as the flavor of black licorice. Also, when you start cooking fennels, their flavor becomes milder because of different spices.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to select fennels?
When you visit a grocery market to buy some fresh fennels, a few essential things that you should consider are as follows;
- Choose the fresh fennels.
- Do not buy the soft, spotted, and cracked fennels.
- Make sure the fennels have large stalks with fresh green feathery leaves.
- Choose the fennels with a smooth white bulb.
What are the benefits of fennel?
You can use fennels in several delicious dishes because they are a healthy way to provide all essential minerals, vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants to the body.
Consumption of fennel every day maintains blood pressure and reduces the risks of cardiac diseases.
Fennels contain antioxidants that improve your immune health and help repair tissue and damaged body cells.
Moreover, fennels are extremely good for suppressing the appetite and preventing premature aging.
What goes well with fennels?
Fennel is a healthy ingredient, so you can serve it alone without hesitation. Though you don’t want to help it alone, you can fill it with several dishes to escalate its delicacy.
Here are a few dishes that you can serve with fennels;
- Stir-fried carrots
- Roast meat
- Macaroni salad
How do you fix a dish with too much fennel taste?
It is not a big deal. You can fix this problem by adding chunks of different vegetables or sauces to the dish to reduce the flavor of the fennel.
You can add spices like salt, chili flakes, black pepper, paprika, garlic, ginger, etc., to minimize the strong flavor of the fennel. Besides that, cooking the fennel will help you have a perfect dish at last.
Fennel is a perennial herb that is very nutritious, and you can serve it at lunches or dinner to your family without any hesitation. They have a hard, crunchy texture with a mildly sweet flavor that makes them unique and delicious.
You can use fennel to make soups, salad, and tea, or serve it as a side dish with meat, seafood, sandwiches, and several other dishes.
Furthermore, fennels are highly beneficial for health because they are a rich source of vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fibers.