- Top roasted salmon with a quick tomato-fennel salsa.
Fennel is underutilized by many home cooks. I’m not sure why because it’s fresh (ever seen canned fennel?), uniquely flavored and super nutritious. Maybe some Fennel 101 will get you stoked:
Fennel belongs to the carrot and parsley family and is a cousin of cumin, dill, caraway and anise (hence its subtle licorice flavor). The bulb is crisp and can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled or eaten raw. The bulb is a unique and fresh addition to warm or cold salads, vegetable and pasta dishes and risottos and is an excellent palate-cleanser between and after meals. The leaves (fronds) are delicate and taste somewhat like dill, making them the perfect edible garnish. Fennel seeds are often used to flavor Italian sausages and meatballs.
Like many spices, fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, plus additional compounds that give it powerful antioxidant properties. But the most fascinating phytonutrient in fennel is anethole, repeatedly shown to reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.
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- Make this spice your new secret ingredient.
Is that jar of fennel seed collecting dust in your cabinet? If so, you’re missing out. Make it your secret weapon in the kitchen.
You’ve got to love fresh fennel – you can eat the bulb, leaves and seeds. Dried fennel seeds are tiny, slivered seeds with a peppery-anise taste. A classic flavor in Italian sausages, fennel can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.
Historically, fennel seed has been used for various medicinal purposes including lactation, digestion, respiratory conditions and treating babies with colic. In Mediterranean cultures, it’s common to chew on fennel seeds after a meal – the candy coated ones are especially yummy.
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- How do we love thee, fennel? Let us count the ways.
Show some love to this under-appreciated veggie from the parsley family. Don’t be turned off by its licorice-like flavor. When prepared right, it’s easy to love.
The Puritans used to chew on fennel during long church services and came to be known as the “meeting seed” for this reason. Fennel is composed of a bulb which is white or pale green in color, with stalks topped with green feathery leaves called fronds. Each part of the plant is edible – though the texture varies (the bulb is crisp while the fronds are delicate and tender with a stronger flavor) Raw fennel is slightly sweet with and resembles the taste of anise (or licorice). Knowing how to compliment the delicate flavor of this veggie will unlock its goodness. Read more »
- Fennel Spice Rub
Seasoning blends are widely available and easy to use, but why turn to the processed stuff when you can easily make your own? Use our custom blends to spice up meat, poultry, fish and veggies.
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Valentine’s Day is here! For me, this means chocolates and romantic dinners, but that can also mean indulging in too many calories and fat. Fortunately, you don’t have to skimp on decadence tonight. Here, I’ve reworked a traditional Valentine’s Day meal, featuring a bison steak and comforting sides, to make easier on the waistline and pleasing to your palate.
Added bonus: These recipes contain some noted aphrodisiacs to help rev up the romance.
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Everyone in my family thought they didn’t like fennel until I showed them some easy and delicious ways to prepare it. Now this cool, crisp veggie is on my weekly shopping list all summer long.
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