Fennel is a delicious herb most easily recognized for its strong licorice-like aroma and flavor. Indeed, fennel is a key component in the manufacturing of licorice, and it is favored by many Mediterranean chefs for its strong and unique flavor profile. All parts of the fennel plant can be used in cooking, from the sturdy bulb and stems to the delicate frilly fronds. Yet for those unfamiliar with fennel, its intense flavor can make it daunting to use or understand how to best incorporate the herb into their regular diet and recipes.
Fennel has many beneficial, medicinal properties that make it worth learning how to use in cooking. Fennel is known for stimulating the appetite and soothing digestive upset, particularly for cancer patients after going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Fennel has also been used to treat congestion, conjunctivitis and anemia. It is a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and manganese, which are all important to our health and nutrition. What follows are five simple ways you can prepare tasty side dishes, salads and main courses incorporating fennel. Try some of these for an interesting and exciting change of pace one evening, and soon fennel will surely become one of the staples of your regular diet as well.