Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fennel 101

Fennel is a flowering plant belonging to the Apiaceae family which also includes celery, carrots and parsley. It is a hardy perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Fennel is a native plant to the shores of the Mediterranean and is widely grown the world over in the dry soils near sea coasts and riverbanks. Fennel is a highly aromatic and a flavorful herb used in cooking and  for medicinal purposes. The bulb-like stem base is the vegetable for culinary purposes and widely used in Italian cuisine. Fennel is often compared to Anise and both are key ingredients in Absinthe. Click here to learn more about Fennel.

To Store

Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh up to 10 days. It is best to consume fennel sooner than later. As it ages, Fennel tends to gradually lose its flavor. While fresh fennel can be frozen after first being blanched, it will lose much of its flavor during this process. 

To Nourish

Fennel is known for its unique Phytonutrients with Antioxidants benefits including Flavonoids and Anethole which is a component of Fennel’s volatile oil. In studies, Anethole has been shown to reduce inflammation with anti-cancer effects. Fennel is an excellent source of Vitamin C and contains Fiber, Folate and Potassium for Colon and Cardiovascular health. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of Fennel.

To Prepare

Fennel can be eaten raw and cooked in almost all manners possible - sauteed, roasted, grilled, braised and steamed. Click here and here to learn different methods for preparation and cooking fennel.

To Try 

To Use

The most indispensable of knives, a chef's knife is essential for preparing any meal, no matter how simple. Made in Germany with a full-tang blade for balance, W├╝sthof Classic Chef’s Knife is a favorite when it comes to chopping, dicing and slicing. Comes in three sizes: 6", 8", 10" ($109.95 – $159.95, Williams-Sonoma)