Fennel is commonly associated with Mediterranean cooking. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. Both the bulbs and the feathery fronds can be eaten raw and cooked. The leaves are delicately flavoured and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. The leaves used in soups and fish sauce and sometimes eaten raw as salad. Fennel has a slightly sweet, crunchy, anise or licorice flavor, with the bulbs more strongly flavored than the fronds.
It’s high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and manganese. Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity. he most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole—the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. (Source: WHFoods.com)
“… one of the easiest vegetables: it slices beautifully into crescent shapes. It is lovely sautéed, baked, braised, or steamed, and delicious sliced thinly into salads or dipped in hummus…it goes with light flavours, like peas, as well as stronger ones… like the onion, it turns sweet when cooked. Fennel suits potatoes, pasta, and white fish like sea bass.” — Nina Planck, The Farmers’ Market Cookbook