Out-of-the-ordinary produce: Fennel


When you think fennel, think Italy, where this vegetable has been harvested since the ancient Roman period. It looks similar to celery but has a hard bulb at the bottom and soft, flowing leaves at the top. It’s biggest claim to fame? A lovely licorice flavour that works in everything from appetizers to desserts.

How to buy

Available from early fall till spring. Choose those with white bulbs and stalks that are fragrant and green.

How to store

Wrap tightly in plastic and keep in the fridge for up to four days.

How to prepare

Slice off the tough bottom and cut off the stalks. Peel off the layers of the bulb and dice or slice as desired. Throw away the core. Use fennel in salads and stir fries, similar to onions and celery. Raw, it goes well with cheeses such as goat cheese or cream cheese. It’s also delicious baked.

• Fennel mashed potatoes
• Italian chicken with fennel and rosemary
• Japanese chicken salad
• Dilled potato salad

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