How To Cook Fennel
Are you looking to learn how to cook fennel? Luckily we’ve got you covered!
Fennel is an aromatic herb with feathery leaves and a distinct anise-like flavour. It’s mainly used in cooking as both the bulb and seeds are edible. It also has lots of health benefits as it has a rich antioxidant content, including dietary fibre, potassium and vitamin C, just to name a few. It can also help to aid digestion, provide anti-inflammatory effects and contribute to heart health.
The bulb can be cooked in many different ways, such as frying and roasting and you can even eat it raw. If you’re making curries, why not use the seeds to add a sweet, warm taste - we love them on bombay potatoes. It's a highly underrated vegetable, and if you’re yet to cook with it, we’re here to help.
HOW TO CUT FENNEL
To cut your fennel, begin by giving the stalks and fronds the snip so that you are left with the bulb. Slice the bulb in half vertically and remove the tougher core from each half. You can now compost the core. Don't forget, those fronds are like nature's confetti – perfect as a garnish and the stalks can be cooked too.
HOW TO COOK FENNEL
Once your fennel is prepped, it’s now time to get cooking. Fennel's flavour is great in soups, salads and even as a side dish. The aromatic seeds are often used in spice blends and its fronds make for a flavorful garnish. Its anise-like taste adds an aromatic flavour to all your culinary creations, making it a fab addition to your next dinner party.
OUR FAVOURITE RECIPES
ORANGE AND FENNEL SALAD
Use a peeler to shave 3 fennel bulbs into thin slices, then put the shavings into a bowl of ice water. Toast a handful of almonds in a dry frying pan and then use a pestle and mortar (or a rolling pin) to crush them into smaller pieces. Peel and slice 3 oranges and place to the side until you’re ready to serve. Drain the sliced fennel and use a salad spinner to get all of the water off of the slices. Not got a spinner? A tea towel will do the job. Then mix your fennel with some crushed mint leaves, a couple of handfuls of rocket, a splash of sherry vinegar and oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Finally, it’s time to assemble! Pour your fennel mixture onto a platter and top with the orange slices, toasted almonds and some fennel fronds - delicious!
(Recipe via Jamie Oliver)
Rinse 500g of fennel bulbs thoroughly and prep your fennel by removing the green stalks, cutting the bulb in half and slicing thinly. In a large pot, heat up a splash of oil, 1 tbsp of butter (or vegan butter) and ½ tsp of fennel seeds. Once the butter has melted add 1 diced onion, 1 thinly sliced garlic clove, 1 celery stalk (sliced) and all of your fennel. Season with some salt and pepper and leave to cook on a medium heat for roughly 5 minutes. Cover with a lid and lower the heat, allowing the mixture to sweat for about 10 minutes until the fennel is tender. Add in 500ml of vegetable stock and put the lid back on and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat again and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Add in 50g of spinach and let the spinach wilt for a few minutes. Blitz up your fennel soup and serve with some fresh, warm crusty bread.
(Recipe via Everyday Healthy Recipes)
Prepare 1 large fennel bulb by removing the green stalks and cutting into large chunks. Place 4 unpeeled garlic cloves and prepared fennel into a hot pan with a generous splash of olive oil. Leave the fennel and garlic to caramelise, on all sides, for a few minutes. When the fennel feels soft to the touch, remove from the pan and season with salt and pepper. Peel the roasted garlic and chop finely, then add back into the pan along with 2 cups of chopped tomatoes. Allow this mixture to simmer on a low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Mix in 1 tsp tomato paste, 5 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper and then add 50g of chopped capers and a handful of chopped olives. Serve the sauce over your favourite pasta and top with the caramelised fennel bulbs.
(Recipe via Lazy Cat Kitchen)
Cut 2 fennel bulbs into quarters or eighths (depending on how big they are) and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan and brown the fennel on all sides, then preheat your oven to 180c/Fan 160c/Gas mark 4. Pop your browned fennel into an oven-proof dish and cover with 200ml of vegetable stock, a sprig of rosemary and 1 star anise. Bake this for 25 minutes, or until tender. If you notice the stock level going down, add a little bit more. Squeeze over some lemon juice and enjoy.
(Recipe via The Happy Foodie)
HUNGRY FOR MORE FENNEL RECIPES?
Fenne-lly enough, we’ve got a bunch!
Fennel Risotto with Fresh Tomato Broth
The fennel is finely chopped and used instead of onion in the risotto, and the tomatoes are turned into a delicious stock to cook the rice, giving the final dish a beautiful colour.
Fennel & Radicchio Salad
This caramelised fennel and radicchio packs a flavour punch, roasted with sweet orange juice and thyme sauce. This salad is great made ahead of time and makes the best side dish to just about anything.
Fennel Lentil Ragu & Potato Shepherd's Pie
A vegetarian ragu is a great staple recipe, and it makes a great base for a delicious shepherd's pie. Cook this at the weekend, eat what you need and freeze any leftovers for later. This is a no-fuss type of recipe but super delicious and versatile.