Fennel is one of those “old soul” obscure vegetables that people either love, hate or know zilch about.
Assertive in flavor, this aromatic bulb-like bottom is topped with willowy fronds that have a delicate, sweet anise flavor. These tender lacy tops are best used like fresh herbs.
Fennel sprigs added to fall and winter salads and starter plates add a bit of brightness in place of dill, tarragon or thyme. The distinctive bite is memorable.
The signature mild licorice taste of raw fennel bulb or stalk is tamed when roasted, braised, sautéed or baked. The bulb and stalk are then softened.