As is often the case when I come across new foods, before I spent any time â€œhands onâ€ with myÂ fennelI did my research. Found out how to slice and dice it, what itâ€™s used in, how to store and handle it. I had a recipe all planned around how I was going to cook it. And then something unprecedented happened. I was in the kitchen, cut into the fleshy bulb, got one whiff of this thing, and immediately aborted the mission.Â Didnâ€™t even give it a try.
Okay, so maybe thatâ€™s a poor way to introduce fennel. After all, a lot of people eat it and seem to enjoy it.Â This may be too much information (by being indicative of what kind of person I really am) but it smelled waaaay too much like Jagermeister for me to muster up the courage to sample it.Â Too many flash backs from my bartending days.
Just because Iâ€™m not going to eat it doesnâ€™t mean I canâ€™t share information on whyÂ youÂ should eat it! If youâ€™re a fan of licorice and anise then youâ€™ll be right at home with this bulbous herb.
Every part of this plant is edible, from the seeds, leaves (which resemble dill), flowers, down to the root. Try it in salads, to garnish fish, flavor sausage, or to season stuffing and sauces.Medicinally, you can use it in tea to aid digestion, or if youâ€™re a lactating mama, make seed tea to increase your milk supply.
Although the bulb is best used fresh, you can dry or freeze the leaves and flowers for future use.