How to Prepare Fennel Three Ways

A complimentary ingredient for a multitude of dishes, fennel is a great way to add texture and a subtle anise flavor to salads, sides and meats.

 
Though fennel may seem visually similar to celery or onion, its flavor is very different.  With a delightfully crunchy texture and slight anise flavor, using fennel is a wonderful way to infuse additional flavor to just about any dish.  It’s great for pairing with other vegetables in stews and soups; it adds fantastic crispness to salads, and is wonderful when roasted with potatoes or braised with meats.

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1 Rinse and Remove Stalks

The first step to preparing fennel is to give it a good rinse under cold water.  Once rinsed, trim away the long green stalks protruding from the bulb with a sharp knife.  The stalks tend to be rather bitter, and are typically discarded.
 

TIP
For a nice bright green garnish for your dish, reserve some of the green fronds. These are edible and add will add some complimentary color to any meal.
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2 Remove Root End

Once the stalks have been removed, slice away about 1/4 inch of the root end at the bottom of the bulb.  This portion of the bulb is very hard and inedible.  Remove any wilted or discolored layers of the bulb.
 

3 Remove Core

Next, slice the bulb into quarters.  You’ll see a hard, white core in the center of the quarters.  Carve this out and discard.
 

4 Slice or Chop Fennel

From here, you can slice the fennel into strips, which is great for salads and sides.  Chopping into smaller pieces is good for soups, stews or baked into quiches or casseroles.
 

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If roasting fennel with meats or roasts, keeping the fennel in larger quartered pieces will help withstand longer roasting times.
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5 Method 1: Roasted Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes

Adding fennel to roasted potatoes is a wonderful way to add additional flavor to this classic side.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a medium bowl, add 1 bulb of sliced fennel, about 24 ounces of rinsed and halved fingerling potatoes, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss well to combine.  Place mixture on a large baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
 

6 Method 2: Raw Fennel and Apple Salad with Blackberries

Crunchy fennel is a fantastic addition to just about any salad.  When paired with sweet apples and tart blackberries, this salad makes for a fresh side to any meal.

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 bulb of sliced fennel, 2 large sliced apples, 2 ribs of celery sliced diagonally, 6 ounces of blackberries and about 3 Tbsp. sliced and toasted almonds.  Toss together and add to serving plate or bowl.  Dress with a basic vinaigrette made with 3 Tbsp. olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 clove of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
 

7 Method 3: Braised Fennel & Vegetables with Pot Roast

When braised with carrots, celery and onion, fennel becomes wonderfully caramelized.  Cut the fennel into larger pieces to help withstand the longer roasting times.

In a Dutch oven or deep pot, heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil over a medium high flame.  Sear a 2-3 pound top round roast that has been generously seasoned with salt and pepper about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove roast from the Dutch oven.  To the Dutch oven, add 1 quartered fennel bulb, 2-3 medium carrots cut into chunks, 1 medium onion cut into slices, and two ribs of celery cut into slices.  Sear the vegetables on medium high heat and add 1 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Cook the vegetables for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often, and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan where the beef had seared.
 

Add approximately 3-4 cups of liquid to the cooked vegetables (you can use broth, red wine, or even a stout beer).  To the braising liquid and vegetables, place the roast in the center of the pot, cover with a lid, and braise in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 145 degrees (medium-rare.)
 

About delightful.e.made

Erin, the “E” in Delightful E Made, delights in sharing the best of all that she cooks, bakes, creates and loves.  She has a true joy for being in the kitchen and making things for the people around her.  Follow her on Facebok, Pinterest and Instagram.