Fennel, also known as bulb fennel, isn’t usually sold by variety, but baby fennel (immature fennel) is available in some markets.
Choose firm, round bulbs without bruises and with stems and leaves attached. Make sure the leaves look fresh; wilting indicates the fennel is getting old.
Use fennel within five days. Refrigerate in the crisper in an airtight plastic bag or container. Keep separate so its aroma doesn’t affect other vegies.
Fennel is very versatile. All parts are edible and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Wash before using. Remove base, chop off the top and peel off the harder outer layers. The bulb can be sliced or chopped, the leaves can be used as a garnish and the seeds can be used to flavour dishes.
4 quick ways with fennel
Add flavour to grilled or roast meals, especially chicken or fish, by cutting a fennel bulb into long, thin slices and placing in dish with onion, olive oil and lemon juice.
For an exotic tasting dip, mix a chopped fennel bulb, fennel seeds, chopped red onion, grated cheese, lemon juice and a pinch of fennel leaves with sour cream.
Sprinkle fennel seeds over potatoes before roasting or add finely chopped fennel to a potato bake or mash.
To stuff fennel bulbs: simmer trimmed bulb in salted water, scoop out insides, stuff with sautéed mixed vegies, garlic, mushroom and mixed spices. Bake for 20 minutes.
Did you know? Fennel is technically classified as a herb. It’s also high in soluble fibre, which helps reduce cholesterol absorption, and is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.