Vegetable Highlight: Fennel!
By Emma,  New City Farm Intern

If you are unsure what the vegetable with the tall, wispy, stalks and a firm bulb is…question no farther: it’s fennel. Fennel is part of the carrot family and originated in the Mediterranean but has taken roots worldwide. Fennel has a anise flavor with a licorice taste and smell. Fennel contains many nutrients and is reported of having many health benefits. Some of the health benefits to fennel include: relief from anemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, colic, diarrhea, respiratory, and menstrual disorders.

The part of fennel that you eat is the bulb, but you can also use the fronds as a garnish. Fennel bulb is very firm and crunchy so it is best to slice the bulb into very thin slices when preparing. Fennel is best in salads, to garnish seafood, and in pastas.

Storage Methods
Fennel should be kept in cooler temperatures, like the vegetable drawer of your fridge. It also bruises easily, so don’t squish it between or under vegetables. If you want to keep it fresher longer, wrap it in a damp kitchen towel and store it in a fridge for 7 to 12 days. Also, putting fennel in the freezer can keep it fresh for up to 8 months.

Recipe: Plum-Fennel Salad with Honey-Ginger Dressing 

  • Ingredients:
    • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 2 ½ teaspoons honey
    • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger, divided
    • Pinch of kosher salt
    • 3 large red plums, cut into thin wedges
    • ½ small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
    • Olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, and fennel fronds (for serving) 
  • Directions:
    • First, whisk orange juice, vinegar, honey, 1 tsp. Ginger, and slat in a medium bowl. Then, add the plums and fennel to dressing; toss to coast.
    • Next, cover and chill for 30 minutes to allow fennel to soften and flavors to blend.
    • And last, toss the remaining ½ tsp. Ginger into fruit salad. Serve drizzled with oil and topped with sesame seeds and fennel fronds.

Alternative Recipes
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

Blondie Sundaes with Fried Walnuts and Candied Fennel

Pappardelle with Chicken Ragu, Fennel, and Peas

Roasted Beets with Fennel and Bonito Dressing

Fennel Gratin with Walnut Thyme Breadcrumbs