If you haven’t discovered fennel yet, you’re about to be introduced to one of your new favorite vegetables. This extraordinary bulb originates from the Mediterranean. It can be eaten either braised or roast as a vegetable or raw in salads. The bulb is sweet and fairly crunchy and adds an intriguing aniseed flavour to salads. The seeds can be used as a spice and go particularly well with cabbage.
Surprisingly, given its versatility, fennel is remarkably under-used by many cooks. With its distinctive health benefits, we really should be trying to incorporate it into our diets more than most of us currently do. The vegetable contains high levels of antioxidants as well as an organic compound called anethole, which has been shown to seriously reduce the risk of cancer in animal studies. Fennel is also an important source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C. It has also been proved to help people suffering from anaemia, ease stomach problems, and help reduce the symptoms of menstruation.
Below are three simple ideas for recipes where fennel is the key ingredient.
- Fennel bulbs 3 large
- Potatoes 600 g
- Carrots 3 large
- Olives 50 g
- Olive oil 30 ml
- Fresh thyme sprig
- Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 5.
- Trim the top off the fennel and cut them into halves, then slice the halves into threes. Peel the carrots and cut them into pieces. Also, cut the boiled potatoes into wedges.
- Place the sliced fennel, chopped carrots and potato wedges in a baking tray, drizzle on the olive oil and season. Place on the middle shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes.
- Add the olives and the sprig of thyme, give it a stir and place it back in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until the fennel is tender.
- Fennel bulb 1 large
- Celery stalks 6
- Cherry tomatoes 150 g
- Olive oil 20 ml
- Parmesan cheese shavings 50 g
- Chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, finely slice the fennel and the celery and scatter them on a plate together.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top and season.
- Top it with the shaved parmesan cheese.
- Onion (chopped)
- Apple (chopped)
- Olive oil
- Cabbage (chopped)
- Dried marjoram 1 tsp
- Fennel seed 1 tsp
- Frying a chopped onion and chopped apple in olive oil. Then add the chopped cabbage, marjoram and fennel seeds.
- Season with sea salt flakes and fry for 5 minutes.