Fennel is one of the most versatile herbs. The ancient people living in Greece used them in many dishes. It is known to be a vegetable grown well in the Mediterranean region. In the United States Fennel is commonly grown well in the state of California. There are two kinds of fennel today. One type is cultivated because of the seeds and the other type is used as an ingredient for cooking. The most typical kind you can find in several markets is called Finocchio also known as Florence. It has a base with many bulbs. The stalk of this fennel is much like the stalk of celery. The leaves are also feathery in texture. This herb can be served in many ways.
Many cooks and chefs find using fennel in their dishes very enjoyable because it has a nice smell. The taste it also has resembles the taste of the anise. It enhances the flavor of the food. This can be used for salads too. Others like using it for salsas. The texture of this herb is crispy and the taste is refreshing for many people. It can complement the taste of fish and some vegetables. The bulb is even lightly sweet. It can be added raw to the salad. You can also braise the bulbs or sauté them. The bulbs can also be white in color and it can also become heavy while the stalk is crispy.
You can store fennel by keeping it in the refrigerator for some days by wrapping them first in a plastic bag. Keeping them more that two days will lessen the flavor. One of the best ways to cook fennel is braising. You can first slice the bulbs in quarter size starting with the roots and removing the core. Melt the butter in a heated pan and put the fennel with the chicken and the stock from vegetables. You can add the pepper and the salt after that. Put the cover and then braise it for twenty five minutes until they become tender. You can put pork for more flavors. The bulb of the fennel can be made into platters of antipasto. The stems can also be used for salads. The flavor of the leaves is licorice which makes it best for cuisines with fish. The seeds of the fennel can be made into pickles, sausages and even added to your tomato sauce.
The flower of the fennel can be made into vinegar. In cooking the leaves you should put them at the end of the cooking process to have a lasting flavor. The fennel can also be added to your favorite potato salad to have additional crunch, you can also use it when poaching fish. The most significant nutrient you can get from fennel is the good amount of vitamin C.
Originally posted 2009-07-12 10:30:42.