Varieties grown: Finale, Perfection, Zefa Fino
Fennel is used as a vegetable, herb, and spice; it is a common star in many cuisines. There are many traditional recipes that do it justice. We grow a few open-pollinated varieties for their bulbs and fronds. It was well into my farming career before I truly appreciated the anise-like flavor of this vegetable, but once I opened my palate to it, I came to love it. Fennel contains a compound called anethole which soothes the stomach, aids digestions, and creates feelings of satiety.
How to use it:
In soups and stews
Braised with seafood and other vegetables like onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes: a classic Mediterranean technique
Sauted with onions and apples, then used to top pork chops—a favorite autumnal dish of ours
Lactofermented with carrots, radishes, and cauliflower (or your favorite mix of pickling veggies)
Cooked with garbanzo or navy beans, garlic, and olive oil; can be served as a side, over pasta, or blended into a delicious white bean dip