Fennel has a pale bulb and long green stalks. It can grow almost anywhere. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds, are edible. They add flavour to other foods.
To prepare fennel, cut the stalks off the bulb at the base where they sprout and slice the bulb vertically. Prepare the fennel leaves, stalks, and bulb in a variety of ways, including:
- using the stalks as a soup base or stock
- sautéing the leaves and stalks with onions for a quick and easy side
- mixing sliced fennel with a variety of your favourite fresh vegetables for a light, crisp salad
Sausage & fennel orecchiette
Marinated fennel and courgette salad with basil
Sausage & fennel orecchiette – BBC Good Food website
- 1 leek, halved and finely sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, halved and finely sliced, fronds reserved
- 250g long-stemmed broccoli, larger stalks finely sliced
- 300g orecchiette or any short pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 sausages
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 carrots, grated
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
Boil a large pan of salted water, turn the heat down to medium, then add the leek, sliced fennel and broccoli, and simmer for 3 mins until tender. Lift the veg out of the water using a slotted spoon, drain and set aside. Keep the pan of water on the heat, add the orecchiette and cook for around 11 mins, or until tender but still retaining some bite.
Meanwhile, put a large frying pan over a high heat, add the olive oil and squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins, tearing it into small pieces in the pan using a wooden spoon. Fry for 3-4 mins until golden brown and almost cooked, then add the garlic, fennel seeds and tomato purée, and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the blanched veg and grated carrot, and cook for another 4 mins. Tip in the tomatoes, bring to the boil, then simmer for around 4 mins until reduced slightly.
Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water, and toss the pasta in the pan with the sausage and tomato sauce, adding a splash of pasta water to loosen. Season and serve with the reserved fennel fronds scattered over the top.
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Marinated fennel and courgette salad with basil – Delicious Magazine website
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 6 baby courgettes or 3 big ones
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt flakes
- Basil leaves
Slice the fennel bulb as finely as you can (set the fronds aside), and spread out in a wide, non-metal dish.
Very finely slice courgettes (set any flowers aside and leave them whole or slice in half carefully if they’re big), then put them in the dish with the fennel.
Squeeze over the juice of both lemons and drizzle over 50ml extra-virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt flakes, then gently toss everything together and leave to marinate for 30-60 minutes.
To serve, transfer the veg to a serving platter (leaving any excess marinade behind), add the courgette flowers, a handful of basil leaves and the fennel fronds (or a few dill sprigs), then drizzle with a little more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.
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