Fennel is a herb, and its dried seeds are used in various recipes. The oil and dried Fennel seeds of fennel are also used to make medicine. This article will go through several aspects of Fennel, such as its unique taste, how it is cooked, etc.
We will also touch upon some dishes that are paired with fennel. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you will have an idea of what fennel is and how you can use it in your recipes in the future.
What Is Fennel?
Fennel is a flowery plant species and is a member of the carrot family. The plant is hardy and a perennial herb that comes with feathery and yellow-colored leaves. The plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean region but is now naturalized all around the world, especially in dry soils near riverbanks and seacoasts.
What Does Fennel Taste Like?
Fennel has a mild licorice-like or anise-like flavor, which you can sweeten or enhance by cooking it. When sautéed and diced with onions to be added to a stew or soup, fennel develops a sweet flavor. If you are looking for fennel with a pronounced flavor, try chopping or crushing one or two tsps. Of fennel seed and mix it with the sautéed vegetables and diced fennel.
When fennel is sliced and used in salads, the flavor becomes more pronounced because of the vinaigrette, a common ingredient in salads.
How is Fennel Made?
There are many ways you can use to prepare Fennel, and we have discussed a few of them below:
Rinse The Fennel And Remove The Stalks
When preparing the Fennel for consumption, the first step you should take is to clean the plant under cold water thoroughly. Once the plant is clean, slice away the long stalks with a knife. The Fennel stalks have a bitter taste, so it is better than you discard them.
Remove The Root End
Once you have eliminated the stalks, cut away roughly ¼ inch of the plant’s root from the bulb’s base. This portion of the bulb is inedible and has a hard texture. Remove any discolored or wilted bulb layers as well.
Eliminate The Core Of The Fennel
The next step would be to chop the bulb into several quarters. Once you chop the bulb, you will see a white core in the bulb’s center. Carve this white core out and eliminate it.
Chop Or Slice The Fennel
Lastly, slice the Fennel into several strips, which are great for sides and salads. Chopping the Fennel into small pieces is good for baked items, stew, or soup.
How Do You, Cook Fennel?
Here are five ways you can cook Fennel:
You can use the Fennel to make different soups, such as Tomato soup. Chop the Fennel with garlic and onion and place them in a stockpot for 5 minutes. Then add three cups of water and a can of tomato sauce to the stockpot.
Let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes, and then use the immersion blade to puree the mixture. You can also add 1/3 cup of heavy cream to the soup and garnish it with Fennel fronds. Check out 5 Best Professional Stand Mixers and 5 Best Slow Juicers.
There are many types of salad recipes that you can make with Fennel. Mix fresh Fennel with fresh herbs and citrus segments (Clementines, oranges, or grapefruit) to make a delicious salad. You can also add roasted beetroot to the salad and baby spinach.
This is the easiest way of cooking Fennel, as all you have to do is cut the bulb into eighths or quarters, toss them with vinegar or olive oil, and roast them on a baking sheet until they have a tender texture. Try this method for 20 minutes at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the dish is ready, you can garnish it with a side dish, snack, or grated parmesan.
What Do You Eat Fennel With?
Basil, Fennel, And Crab Spaghetti
This dish combines sweet and delicious crab meat with fennel, forming light and simple pasta dish nicely. This pasta is healthy and perfect for the warm summer months.
Roasted Fennel With Citrus And Blackened Shrimp
Roasted Fennel has a soft texture, a slightly caramelized and crunchy texture, and a sweet flavor. In this dish, shallots and Fennel become tender as they are roasted, and the orange slices become fragrant and concentrated.
Tomato, Fennel, And Feta Skillet Bake
Thin Slices of Fennel bulbs become sweet and mellow once braised and sautéed in chopped and strained tomato. This recipe will serve as a side dish for grilled or sautéed shrimp or any other variety of mild fish. Check out 5 Best Stovetop Pressure Cookers and 5 Best Vegetable Juicers.
Is Fennel Good For You?
Here are some health benefits that Fennel can offer:
Can Improve Digestion
In several parts of the world, consuming a small quantity of Fennel after a meal is common as it relieves the gassiness and aids the digestive system in breakdown food. Fennel can reduce bowel inflammation and decrease gassiness-causing bacteria. One study indicates that Fennel oil can reduce the Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
Can Relieve Menstrual Cramps
The severity of menstrual cramps varies, and Fennel is capable of relieving them. Studies indicate that nitrites found in Fennel can improve blood flow, enabling the uterus to efficiently shorten the length of menstruation and expel the urine lining.
Other studies conclude that fennel can decrease the production of prostaglandin and oxytocin, two hormones that can cause harmful periods. Research also shows a reduction in menstrual cramps when people consume Fennel.
Improves The Colic
Colic is a medical condition that affects newborn babies and can cause discomfort and fussiness. Food intolerances and allergies are thought to be directly linked to colic. A common and over-the-top treatment for colic is gripe water, and its main ingredient is Fennel.
Fennel has proven to be an effective cure for colic, as it has eased colic in more than 65 % of cases. However, you need to remember that not all gripe water brands use Fennel as an ingredient. Check the product information before purchasing the product, please.
Related Questions About Fennel?
How Is Fennel Grown?
The peak season for growing Fennel is winter and fall. However, some gardeners also plant Fennel in early spring for an early summer harvest. When planting the Fennel, look for compact bulbs that are firm and relatively heavy. Avoid Fennels that have injuries such as browning or splitting. Fennel likes the cold weather, and it takes around three months for the plant to produce a bulb.
How To Purchase Fennel?
If you are not growing Fennel on your own, you can buy it from your local grocery stores. Fennel is easily available in grocery stores and farmer markets year-round. Look for Fennels bulbs that are heavy and free of cracks.
Ensure that the bulbs are firm and don’t have moist or browning areas. The stalks of the Fennel should have a crispy texture, with bright-green and feathery fonds. Fennel can survive for 48 hours when stored in a plastic wrap in the refrigerator. As the Fennel dries out, its flavor will fade. Check out 5 Best Juicers for Greens.
This article has answered all your Fennel-related queries, such as what does it taste like? How is it cooked? Does it have any health benefits? Etc. Hopefully, once you read this article, it will inspire you to use Fennel as an ingredient in your recipes in the future.
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