We’ve all had something seasoned with the licorice flavor of fennel seeds, but it’s not always something that we reach for in the store, making it an unsung hero of the produce world. We’re here to share why we love fennel so much, starting with the basics
What is fennel?
Fennel is an aromatic member of the carrot family native to the Mediterranean. It adds a wonderfully sweet, vegetal richness to stews, pasta, salads, slaws, and more! It’s a versatile wonder-plant, too, as you can cook with its bulb, stalks, leaves, seeds, and even its pollen!
What can you do with fennel?
Fennel’s mild, sweet flavor and crisp texture makes it wonderful thinly sliced into slaws and salads. The fibrous bulb gets even sweeter when you cook it and we love it roasted, grilled, or sautéed. Be sure to save the stalks, as they’re great in stocks and braises! You can even use those tiny, feathery fronds in vinaigrettes!
What other ingredients pair well with fennel?
Garlic, lemon juice, fish, pork, olive oil, orange juice, almonds, yogurt, parsley, and thyme!
We recommend you try this recipe for Easy Grilled Fennel or this Pasta with fennel, lemon, and arugula! What about dessert? Toasted fennel seeds are used as a breath freshener in India and Pakistan!