I bought a fennel bulb…..Now whut I do wif it?
What a delightful find, this fennel bulb! At first it has the lovely aroma of anise or licorice. After slicing a bit off, I was quite sure I did not want this aroma in the big pot of vegetable beef & barley soup I was fixing, so I thought I would give it a quick saute in butter. Everything is better with butter. As it was cooking in my cast iron skillet, it reminded me, just barely, of frying eggplant (yum!). It has a delicate flavor that is hard to describe….you’ll just have to get your own. I continued to saute it and added celery and onions. Into the pot of soup it went; which btw, was fantastic. I can’t say the small amount of fennel bulb made it fantastic, it just turned out pleasingly well this time.
The entire fennel bulb is edible with the feathery green leaves used as herbs. When the plant is allowed to flower & go to seed, the fennel seeds are harvested from them. This is also the best season of the year to experiment with a fennel bulb, plus it is packed with antioxidants, other vitamins & minerals, and fiber. (check the link above for tons of nutritional info on fennel bulb)
It is on my grocery list. I plan on sauteing it with some onions for a very simple side dish to some grilled or baked salmon. I bet a hot dish of scalloped fennel bulb would be delicious, too.