Fennel is one of our most favorite crops to grow at the farm for a number of reasons. Fennel does quite well in our winter growing season, despite the heat, plus we love harvesting them early in the morning, when their frilly tops are full of caught dew and their scent is strongest. Fennels anise-like flavor has won us over after some time experimenting in the kitchen taking advantage of its many uses. When cut thinly and used fresh in a salad or side dish, fennels taste is crisp, strong and herbaceous. Fennel salad recipes abound online, but really all it takes to turn fennel into a truly refreshing salad is a young tender fennel bulb, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.
For a totally different fennel experience, try quickly chopping the bulb into thick pieces and roasting it in the oven. As the veggie gets slow cooked its flesh becomes super tender and the taste is totally different: very sweet and almost nutty. Rely on classic mediterranean roasting recipes to cook your fennel: olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper and you're all set.
Heres a fun list of other fennel recipes and ideas including a fennel based creamy soup and grilled fennel (yumm!).