Tasty Thriftiness - Fennel

This week at I Refuse to Recede Troy is talking about the herb fennel. We have fennel in our herb garden. For some reason, we have not had a lot of success in growing big healthy plants. It's something we will have to work on next summer. We really don't like defeat and the fennel that we have planted as been "winning" and we just can't allow that to happen any more! LOL

Since we haven't had a lot of success with fennel, I haven't spent a lot of time playing around with it. The few times that I have used it, I really like it.

Fennel has some interestng qualities to it. Did you know that fleas don't like fennel?
It is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered Fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables. The plant gives off ozone most readily.

Found at Botanical.com

Fennel seems to be a favorite subject for Poets. Longfellow alludes to this virtue in the plant:

'Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore.'

Fennel is often referred to as the "Sweet Anise". It has the anise flavor but not nearly as strong as tradition anise. Fennel can blend well with other herbs and has a subtle flavor when cooked. It also seems to enchance whatever food is mixed with it. If it is in a chicken dish, the chicken flavor seems to pop.

Fennel is actually part of the same family as parsley, caraway, cumin and coriander, giving it a bit of an identity crisis.

Here are a couple of recipes I would like to try whenever we actually have good healthy fennel plants.

1 English cucumber, diced
1 large fennel bulb, diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup pickled banana peppers, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the cucumber, fennel, avocado, red onion, banana peppers, cilantro, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Allow mixture to sit 20 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Allrecipes

Fennel And Potato Bake
This fennel bake recipe is great as a side or as a main with a salad. It's a comforting dish for an rainy weather and the combination of flavours helps make the fennel's aniseed more subtle.

Serves 2 as a main dish

4 large potatoes (or 6 small), scrubbed
1 bulb Fennel
2 gloves garlic, crushed or minced
300ml semi-skimmed milk, or 300ml single cream, or 150ml of each
1 free range egg
butter, for greasing
salt and freshly ground pepper, nutmeg to taste
(optional) tomato slices to garnish

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190�C

Slice the potatoes and fennel very thinly - ideally using a mandolin

Grease a large baking dish with the butter and arrange the potato and fennel slices in alternative layers with garlic and lots of seasoning in between each layer

Mix together the cream and / or milk, egg and nutmeg with lots more seasoning

Pour the mixture over the vegetables already in the baking dish, cover and bake for about 1 ½ hours, removing the cover for the last 30 minutes until the top has browned nicely
Receipe Found at Veg Box Recipes

So, if you would like to learn more about this herb, fennel, head over HERE and read all about it!

Subscribe to The Thrifty Groove by Email

1 comment :

  1. The fennel in my herb garden is 11 years old. It's a great stand -- all from a couple of plants. I planted bronze a couple of years ago and it is growing nicely!

    Another benefit is that it is food for butterflies . . . (as is parsley).

    I leave the brown stalks up during the winter as well as the seed heads I don't harvest -- natural food for our feathered friends.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)