Fennel belongs to the Umbelliferae family which includes carrots, parsley and dill. All parts of the plant are edible.
Storage: Remove the leaves and stalk from the buld and refrigerate unwashed. Fennel will keep for a week or so but is best used fresh.
Preparation: Cut the stalks offwhere they meet the bulb. Rinse the bulb thouroughly. Cut in quarters and remove core if it should seem very hard. Slice or chop the bulb as desired! The bulb can be grilled, sauted, baked, braised or steamed! Try it sliced thinly on salads, chopped finely and added to chicken or tuna salad, or served on a raw vegetable platter.
The stalk of the fennel plant is usually tough and stringy. It is best suited for making soup stocks and for flavoring soups and stews. Strain the fennel stalk out before serving or peel the stalk first if you plan on leaving it in the soup or stew. We like to lay the stalks on the grill and grill the fish on top of the stalks.
Fennel leaves can be added to salads, soups, or other dishes. Try using fennel leaves in place of dill. Delicious with lemon and butter on baked or broiled fish.