Finding Fennel

Finding Fennel

Chris Phillips
Jan 30, 2007

Black jelly beans and a bad run-in with a roasted fennel pizza convinced me that I couldn't stand fennel.

Happily my new mandoline and a fennel salad recipe in Dave Lieberman's new cookbook nudged me to give the vegetable one more shot.

Fennel isn't overpowering after all. It is fast becoming a new favorite.

The mandoline shaves thin ribbons of fennel that have a bright crunch with a subtle anise flavor. Fennel is also high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber. Some say fennel helps with digestive problems.

For a simple winter side dish, shave the bulb of one fennel, toss it with some olive oil and the juice of a blood orange. Use the leaves, or fronds, of the fennel as garnish.

As soon as you cut fennel, drop it into cold water with some lemon juice. This stops the cut edges of the fennel from browning.

Purdue reminds us that many people say anise when they mean fennel, but we "should not be confused with true anise, a seed spice also with a strong licorice aroma."

Are there some vegetables you're haven't enjoyed in the past? Ready to give them second try?

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