Everyone goes stupid for kale, and only if I held my way would fennel be equally popular. It’s possibly the most misunderstood vegetable, and if you haven’t tried cooking with it yet, you should. It has a fresh, sweet-smelling anise flavour and is commonly eaten raw, sautéed, broiled, or attached to soups and seasonings. This strange-looking vegetable may appear to be intimidating from the outside, but don’t be alarmed. It’s not tough to work with once you figure out how to get there.
What is a Fennel?
Fennel is a part of the carrot race. However, it is not a root vegetable. The long stalks’ foundation knit together to form a thick, fresh bulb that develops over the earth. It has light, fluffy leaves that appear like dill all over the bulb and at the tips of the stalks. Fennel also produces small yellow blooms among the leaves when it matures and goes to seed. It’s edible in every way, from the bulb to the flowers, and it’s usually eaten raw or fried.
Fennel designs often require the bulb, even if the stalks and leaves are edible. When it’s raw, it has a new celery-like surface and a new liquorice flavour. As it cooks, it caramelizes, giving it a richer flavour and a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
It offers a slew of medical benefits. It’s quiet in calories but ample in nutrients such as dietary fibre, potassium, and vitamin C, to name a few.
How to Prepare and Cook Fennel
It would help if you had a lot of ideas about how to handle fennel by now, but seeing this massive, off-kilter-looking bulb on your cutting board can make you doubt yourself. Not to worry: unlike some other veggies (we’re looking at you, artichoke), fennel is a breeze to work with. The subsequent steps will explain to you how to prepare and cook a fennel bulb.
1. Get rid of the tail and the fronds. Because the bottom and fronds will be split independently from the bulb, this is the first level regardless of whether you purpose to use the entire fennel plant. If your recipe only calls for the bulb, toss the tail and fronds out or store them.
2. Remove the bulb and flush it.
You could have washed the fennel while the tail and fronds were still attached, but by isolating them first, you give yourself the option of keeping them for later. (When fronds have been washed, they don’t toll as much in the ice chest.) In any case, you’ll need to quickly clean whatever part of the plant you intend to use under cool running water.
3. Trim and slash the leaves. Place the bulb on a chopping board and begin by trimming the root end. Then, with a blade, make a shallow cut into the side of the bulb, just deep enough for you to pull away from the thick external covering with your fingers. Once you’ve got the fennel under control, how you chop it depends on the cooking method you’re going to use.
Try shaving the bulb on a mandolin to add crude fennel cuts to a new and crunchy salad. Then, for a revitalizing and sound dish, season with essential olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. To prepare the fennel, slice it into 12-inch wedges by slicing the bulb down the middle upward and then cutting each half into pieces. Cut-side-down on a baking sheet, toss the wedges with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Fennel should be cooked for about 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the wedges are tender and the edges are caramelized.
Benefits of Fennel
Apart from being delicious, fennel has a bounty that makes it work. Here are some more further motives why you should be a massive fan of this delicious vegetable.
- Fennel helps to breastfeed mothers produce more milk. To be sure, studies show that fennel is a galactagogue, which is a fancy way of stating that it is a lactating woman’s best friend.
- Fennel is a nutrient-dense vegetable. Fennel is a fantastic (cholesterol-free) source of dietary fibre, potassium, folate, and vitamins C and B6—an impressive healthy profile that promotes heart health and regulates pulse, among other things.
- Fennel is a herb that helps women who are suffering from menstrual cramps. Scientific evidence suggests that fennel can help relieve the pain of period cramps.
- Fennel has anti-inflammatory properties. According to research, the compounds found in fennel reduce signs of irritation, pointing to its potential as a treatment for a wide range of ailments.