by Ricky Smith in In Season, Recipes, October 7th, 2014
by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, November 14th, 2011
There are very few ingredients that can add to a dish what fresh fennel can add. It’s got a hint of sweetness, a nice crunch and a refreshing flavor. Known for being eaten raw as a palate cleanser at the end of a big Italian meal, it can be prepared or eaten just about any way you can imagine. Take these recipes, for example: roasted fennel in pasta, fennel salad and even a fennel slaw. Try out a few of these and before you know it you’ll be adding fennel into all kinds of things this fall.
Baked Penne with Fennel: When you think of creamy baked pasta, you don’t necessarily think of light flavors. But fennel can add the perfect soft flavor to just about anything — including this creamy baked penne. With pancetta, heavy cream and three different cheeses, the dish definitely benefits from the fennel’s subtle flavor.
If ever there was a vegetable dogged by misunderstanding, fresh fennel is it.
Because while it may taste like anise and look like a bulb, it’s neither. And don’t let the grocery workers who love to label it that way tell you otherwise.
Fennel may taste like anise, and is a relative of it, but they are separate plants. And while the base of fennel is bulbous, that’s a shape, not its plant variety.
So now that we’ve cleared up what fennel isn’t, let’s focus on what it is.
Fresh fennel resembles a cross between cabbage, celery and dill. The taste is assertively (though not unpleasantly) licorice and sweet. The base of the fennel is round with tightly overlapping pale-green leaves. Sprouting out of that are long celery stalks topped with fine frilly leaves.
Fennel Egg Salad Sandwiches »