Fennel Gots Flavah

Yes, flavah with an ‘h.’  That’s how good fennel is.

And for these bulbous morsels of veggie delight, I am grateful  🙂

How have I never in my life eaten fennel before this year?  (See next question.)  Where can I grow such a genius vegetable (I mean, have you see the size of its noggin?)?  Ah, in climate zones 50-77 degrees Fahrenheit.  That would explain its absence from my childhood in paradise.

I’ve been picking up obscenely large specimens of fennel from TJs and roasting them in olive oil and sea salt … best munched with roasted yams and pecans over a bed of spinach and avocado.  It’s a killer (and rather simple) combo  😀

CaramelizedFennelPizza
Caramelized Fennel Pizza? Don’t mind if I do . . .

Curious about exploring some more complex recipes?  Check out this top twenty from AllRecipes.com – that should keep you busy on your fennel adventures!

According to the website Nutrition Data (which I highly recommend for looking up, well, nutrition data, about any kind of food or drink imaginable, sauteed, broiled, canned, raw, whatever you fancy), fennel is a pretty solid eat, especially straight outta the dirt:

Fennel

According to the NYTimes Diner’s Journal:

Fennel is a cool-weather vegetable, harvested in frost-free zones from fall to spring. Even if not locally grown, it still belongs in your winter repertory. It is delicious cooked or raw, and now is the time to enjoy it.

When buying fennel, look for firm pale-green bulbs, preferably with the top stalks and feathery fronds still attached. This means your fennel was recently picked — the faint anise flavor and fresh crispness diminish soon after. Avoid yellowed, spotty, stringy, oversize or split specimens, for obvious reasons.

The stalks, by the way, do have uses. Added to fish or chicken broth, they contribute their aroma and sweetness. Or lay them in the pan instead of using a rack when roasting meat, chicken or fish. The green fronds can be chopped like an herb. Try mixing them with parsley and scallions.

One final tip: even a very fresh fennel bulb can have a slightly tough exterior. Trim off a thin layer with a paring knife or sharp vegetable peeler.

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One thought on “Fennel Gots Flavah”

  1. i haven’t had much fennel in my life – it’s usually in the form of toothpaste flavoring or used as an herb in something. so this is particularly useful! if i see it in the store i won’t be scared now (which, by the way, is kind of the way i approach fresh artichokes and leeks, primarily because i just can’t figure out how to clean or prepare them! i mean, which part do you eat, anyway?)! thank you!

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