The California coast is covered in native Fennel, but did you know you can eat it? Well, not the wild fennel you see outside, but a cultivated version meant for consumption like the fennel in our Conscious Kitchen X Tomatero Farm Boxes (check out how to purchase a buy one-give one farm box here). Fennel consists of a bulb-like base, stalks like celery, and feathery leaves with delicate white flowers. All parts of the plant are edible, but the bulb is most commonly used in cooking. It adds a sweet, slightly licorice flavor and delicious crunchy texture to dishes, whether raw or cooked.
For general preparation, you can use the feathery leaves how you would other fresh herbs. The stalks can be treated similarly to celery and added into soups. The bulb is often thinly sliced and sautéed or roasted. For roasting, try cutting half-inch chunks and cooking at 400ºF for 25 minutes. For use in a fresh salad, thinly slice and marinate it in a vinaigrette or even just olive oil and lemon juice!
Try cooking with fennel in this delightful recipe from Cooking Light.
Fennel tomato and feta skillet bake
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons crumbled feta
- Cut fennel bulbs into 8 wedges each; sprinkle with ground coriander.
- Chop fennel fronds to equal 1 tablespoon
- Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high.
- Add fennel wedges; cook 4 minutes. Turn; add chopped tomatoes, sliced garlic, lemon juice, and kosher salt.
- Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta and fronds.