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Fennel  leaf.jpg (309576 bytes)Fennel, Finocchi, Florence Fennel        Foeniculum vulgare
A stalk and shoot vegetable with an almost  celery-like appearance. Prepare as celery, although it is more pungent in taste.
 The flavor is similar to anise or licorice.

History  Fennel is prized for both its seeds and leaves and have been grown for cooking at least since the time of the Romans, who introduced the plant to England. In Italy, the seed is used whole to spice sausages, ground for tomato sauces of all kinds (especially pizza sauce), and also used for pork roast. The English use fennel in almost all fish dishes, especially court bouillon for poaching fish and shellfish. Fennel has an even longer history as a medicinal. The toasted seeds are often chewed as a digestive aid. Whole fish can be baked on a bed of fennel branches for a aromatic and flavorful presentation.

Purchase:  August through May.  Look for clean bright-white, compact, bulbs with crisp stalks, and bright fresh leaves.  The greener the plant or stems, the stronger the taste.
                    Yield: 1 lb. fennel = 1 large bulb
                    1 serving = 1/2 bulb

Complimenting Flavors and condiments   seafood, game, rabbit, poultry, nutmeg, salad green, rice dishes, potato salads, pasta sauces

In season in mid-summer

Nutrition:  1 serving = 30 calories

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