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Info - Fennel

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Category: Vegetables

 Ingredients List

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For centuries, Italian and other European cooks braised fennel, baked it
with fish, and chopped it fresh for salads. The fennel attraction: a
gentle, slightly sweet anise flavor that lends itself to almost any dish
from soups to side dishes.

Fresh fennel season extrends from fall till spring. Celerylike stalks and
bright green foronds grow from the bulb, but these are often removed before
the fennel reaches the market produce section. Pice a firm, smooth bulb
without cracks or brown spots. Fennel losses its flavor quickly, so store
it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use it within a few days.

When the stalks and fronds are still attached to the bulb, remove them and
slice the bulb. You can snip the fronds and use them as an herb or a toper
for soups. Reserve the tough stalks for making soup stock (in place of
celery) or discard.

A simple way to enjoy raw fennel is sliced and munched like a carrot stick.
Or, you can add chopped fennle to coleslaw or potato salad for extra

Cooking fennel mutes the flavor and softens the crisp texture. Italian
cooks favor braising fennel as a side dish, but they include it in almost
any course.

You can introduce fennel into your cooking as a substitute for celery. Chop
or slice raw fennel for soups, stir-fries, and vegetable medleys. Or
substitute fennel wedges for another vegetable in a pot roast recipe. You
can also use cooked fennel as a pizza topper.

To cook plain fresh fennel, cover it with a small amount of boiling water
and cook for 6 - 10 minutes or till tender. Or, to steam it in your
microwave, combine it with a little water. Cook it on 100% power (HIGH)
for 4 - 6 minutes or till tender, rearranging once.

To intensify the fennel flavor i ncooked dishes, add a pinch of fennel
seed. Fennel seed comes from a different variety of fennel plant and is
sold in the spice aisle.

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