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What To Do With Fennel?

July 18, 2011

I have never liked black licorice. Years ago when I tasted fennel, I was immediately turned off because all I tasted was black licorice (the same reason why I never liked anise). Over the years I found that my preference for fennel was based on how it was prepared. My two favorite preparations for fennel are raw in a salad with oranges and red wine vinaigrette (a great combination) and roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Although I will now eat fennel when I am out at a restaurant, it is not a vegetable I ever buy. Until now. As part of my CSA share I have received full stalks of fennel.

fennel nutrition

They weren’t really big enough to use to make a salad, especially once I cut away the fronds and stalks, making a fennel soup (which was recommended by the farmers) just didn’t appeal to me, and while the fennel dip I made a few weeks ago was good, I wanted to do something a little simpler.  So the easiest thing for me to do was roast the bulbs. Since roasting is one of my favorite go-to cooking methods for pretty much anything, I figured this was the easiest solution. I just tossed the cleaned bulbs with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted for about 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. It made for a great side dish with other roasted vegetables, including red onions and beets.

roasted fennel

Nutrition Note: Fennel has some radical-fighting antioxidant benefits thanks to vitamin C and phytonutrients like quercetin. It is also a good source of fiber, folate, and potassium, which among other things help promote heart health.

Do you like fennel? How do you use it in the kitchen?

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  1. Interesting…I also hate black licorice and have therefore avoided fennel as well despite the fact that it’s so nutritious (and seems to be ubiquitous!) But this sounds really interesting. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Elana, you are most welcome! I hope you try it and like it. You’ll have to let me know!

  2. I’ve never tried roasted fennel, but I bet it’s delicious! When my family and I lived in Virginia, we had a favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant we used to go to where they made they best salad with shaved raw fennel. I’m glad you decided to give fennel another chance 🙂

    1. Thanks EA! Shaved raw fennel with orange slices is a salad I like a lot. I’m glad I have learned to like it too!

    1. Thanks so much! Funny that your wife “loves” fennel. I like it now, but couldn’t go so far as to say I love it!

  3. Thanks for the ideas.. we live in Idaho where a garden is a challenge.. highs of 85 and nights rarely over 60.. but FENNEL.. is growing like a weed… and we didn’t even know which part of it to eat. Now we know.

    1. You’re welcome Lynda! Glad I could be of help. Enjoy the fennel and let me know how you like it!

  4. I love fennel and everyweek I make a Great Fennel, White Bean & Spinach Soup–It contains fennel, cannellini beans, garlic, carrots, celery, spinach, veggie broth. I serve it with freshly squeezed lemon juice & parmesan cheese. Its very healthy and delicious. It freezes very well.

    1. That sounds delicious! I love white bean and spinach soup. Will have to try adding fennel next time I make it!