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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Fennel


summer, Autumn

Description: Much like a licorice-flavored celery, fennel is crisp and crunchy with a pronounced flavor when raw. Cooked fennel has a much milder anise flavor and a soft, not stringy texture.

Selection: Choose large, firm, crisp fennel with creamy white bulbs and bright green fronds.

Storage and handling: Fennel will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Preparation: Remove the fronds (reserve for use as an herb) and stalks. Trim a thick slice from the root end and slice the bulb in half. Remove the core from each half. Slice or chop if desired. Steam whole fennel bulbs in a basket over boiling water, covered, 8-15 minutes if you’ll finish cooking by some other method, or 20-35 minutes till tender if serving immediately. Microwave whole bulbs in a covered dish with a little water, 8-10 minutes.

Serving suggestions: Add chilled raw fennel to salads or vegetable trays. The bulb is often used in Mediterranean dishes (SIS, p. 124). Boil diced bulb and add to rice, pasta,
or polenta. Use the fronds for garnishes.

Nutrients: Vitamin C; potassium; fiber.

1 lb raw = 2 1⁄2 - 3 cups
1 lb cooked = 2 1⁄4 cups

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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