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Fennel

From the tips of its feathery fronds to the heart of its firm, white bulb, fennel is a culinary gold mine
Fennel

Take one taste of fennel, and you understand why chefs and home cooks are hooked on this Mediterranean veggie staple, now widely available in supermarket produce sections and farmers’ markets in the United States. Crunchy and sweet when raw, tender and mildly anise-flavored when cooked, fennel adds subtle flavor and texture to soups, sauces, salads, and even quiche.

Beyond the Bulb
The bulbous bottom of fresh fennel is not the only edible part of the plant.

FRONDS  Snip off the delicate tops, and sprinkle over dishes the way you would parsley, basil, or mint.

STALKS  Slice or dice, and use in place of celery.

DRIED SEEDS  The common fennel found in the supermarket spice section can be used like cumin or caraway to flavor soups, stews, breads, and other baked goods. Or brew some fennel tea, which is reputed to aid digestion, by steeping 1 teaspoon dried seeds 5 minutes in 1 cup boiling water.

March 2012 p.54

get the recipes

Orzo with Fennel and Tomato Ragoût

Fennel and tomatoes are a classic combination in Italian pasta sauces.

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Fennel, Roasted Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Quiche

Low-fat whipped cottage cheese lends a rich texture to this crustless quiche. The recipe can be made up to a day ahead, and reheated just before serving.

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split pea fennel and spinach soup

Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup

This vibrant soup makes great use of leftover fennel stalks.

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comments

Braised fennel is one of my favorite veggie dishes! Sherry Tejada

Sherry Tejada - 2012-08-15 19:33:24