Fennel

Fennel plants are annual or perennial and can reach 1.5m or more, with one to several erect, hollow stems coming from the base and bearing fine, glossy aromatic pinnnate foliage. The tiny yellow flowers, borne in umbels, are used in pickling and the small seeds are very aromatic.

Apple And Fennel Sauce
Apple And Fennel Sauce

Fennel prefers a light, well drained slightly alkaline soil in a sunny position but is adaptable and tolerates the cold very well. Raise all varieties by seed sown in spring. Propagate perennial forms by division in spring. Cut down and remove old stems. Harvest foliage and flowers as required. Harvest seeds when ripe then dry and freeze for a few days to kill any insects. Lift roots in autumn and dry them.

Slice the raw bulb thinly and add to salads, or cit in half and roast as a vegetable to bring out its sweetness. See here for a pan fried fennel recipe and here, for a cake recipe. Use fresh fennel leaves in salads, salad dressings and vinegars, with fish, pork and seafood dishes, or as a garnish. The dried seeds are used in cakes and breads, Italian sausages, salads, pickles, curries and pasta and tomato dishes.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs
Lavender and Lime Signature

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26 thoughts on “Fennel

  1. i love making a buuter poached with fennel eaither, chicken, lobster or even salmon fillet, the liqorice falavour and butter is a great combo…

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    1. that sounds really tasty!

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  2. I love it. I toss it in olive oil with kalamata olives and crushed red pepper and cauliflower and roast it and oooooooooh!

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    1. my, that sounds amazing!

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  3. I have not used fennel often however i have been meaning to try it for sometime now, and it is now on my list for shopping tomorrow.

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    1. please let me know what you do with it 🙂

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  4. I adore fennel, but the rest of the family aren’t big fans of the bulb. They adore fennel-encrusted pork though! 🙂

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    1. I love using it Celia, and with pork it is great 🙂

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  5. I love fennel, especially bronze fennel which provides colour through so many of our drab months here in the UK. Must try some of those recipes!

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    1. I must look out for some bronze fennel for my garden then 🙂

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  6. One of my favorites. I love this feature too.

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    1. Thanks Greg, I am hoping to do a herb feature every Wednesday 🙂

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  7. I adore fennel, grew up on it and try to incorporate it into many of my dishes. I had no idea how the plant grew or looked tho!!

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  8. I adore fennel, grew up on it and try to incorporate it into many of my dishes. I had no idea how the plant grew or looked tho!!

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  9. I’m a big fan of fennel, grew up on it and always look for ways to incorporate it into my meals. I had no idea how the plant grew or looked tho!!

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    1. I love fennel as well 🙂

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  10. I LOVE fennel seed, and am warming up to fennel bulb. I’ll put the seeds in anything (and to a ridiculous degree–I just love the flavor).

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    1. I must try using more fennel seeds as I also love them 🙂

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  11. We did grow it one year quite successfully but as we have year round wild fennel in our olives, we don´t grow it anymore. Mind you, I do love a big fat bulb of fennel simply slices and sprinkled with salt, pepper and olive oil 🙂 Have just seen how many followers you have – wow, well done!

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    1. *makes note to check her followers* I love wild fennel!

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  12. As you know, not one of my favourite but will gladly substitute it with dill.
    🙂 Mandy

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    1. the dill flowers look the same so are easily confused 🙂

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  13. I am fennel mad, i cannot go past them and the scent of fennel is divine. We grow it every year. I did not know there was a perennial one, I just thought they re-seeded so i am going to look into that. Though it does get very cold out here. Thanks for the reminder to order these seeds! c

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    1. it is indigenous to the area we live in and the plot down the road has wild fennel growing all year 🙂

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