Don’t fear the strong flavour of fennel – cooking usually takes it away
Green and white young fennels on store shelves are attractive to many people. However, most of us will not buy them because of the strong aroma, reminiscent of anise or liquorice. If you are one of those who fear the aroma, well, we are here to ask you to give fennel another chance – because the strong aroma will not “survive” cooking…
The use of common fennel, in Latin as Foeniculum vulgare, dates back to the ancient times. It was valued and popular mainly for its fragrance, which is where its nickname “Roman dill” comes from. Today, you can find two types of fennel in stores:
- Bitter Bolognese fennel
- sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. ‘azoricum)
As for preparation, there are no real difference . However, if you want to “fine” tune raw salads, use sweet fennel as it is milder and it will not suppress the taste of other ingredients.
How to prepare fennel easily
Using fennel for baking is probably the easiest and most common preparation method, especially for those who are novices in fennel use. Remember that fennel goes well with any meat (especially poultry and fish). It only takes 20 minutes of baking to soften fennel perfectly. If you bake it longer, it turns into a mush, so add it later.
Older and larger fennel should be boiled in slightly salted water before the actual use. 10 minutes is enough. Let it cool, break it into smaller pieces and bake them. You may also use fleshy leaves of fennel to create a bowl and fill it with various stuffing (especially meat and cheese).
Use raw fennel as a seasoning for salads, usually served with fish. We recommend using white, less aromatic parts or leaves. If you are not sure how many, use lesser amount because if you overdo it, you will have hard time to correct it…
Preview photo: Pixabay
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