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I saved my Fennel and now, can someone help me with using it?

I grew them from seeds last year but it was too late and the last one was way too small. We don’t get it here and I actually want to know if all the parts can be used for cooking. I don’t have another pack of seeds, and hope someone has some ideas for me. I have some recipes but would love to hear what other members do with this food item. It was over for it when I transplanted it outside, but somehow in the container it now survived. Too cramped to get a big thick one, but it is tall. Last question, does Kmart sell these items on-line?


8 answers

  1. Hi, For2Day !
    Years ago, I made fennel seed-encrusted fish, following a recipe inspired by Julia Child... It was okay, but I believe that it would have been much better with the young leaves instead, for it was very overpowering with the seeds ! Good luck with any new-found ideas :):) !

    1. In response to yobarps

      I have used fennel seed and it is supposed to be good for digestion, though I don't want a fish coated in it. Most of the info I got was for fish on-line and I eat it once in awhile, so I took your idea of the leaves and it was interesting in a ticklish? way. I added it in tonight.

    2. In response to yobarps

      I see... Hopefully it was tasty. I would love to experiment with fresh herbs like that. Perhaps I'll get a starter set and grow some indoors. It means that I'll have to start cooking again, which intimidates me a little :):) ! But I do treasure my BettyCrocker book, so that's a better feeling for me !

  2. Though you didn't specify as to the type of fennel in question, it sounds like you're referring to 'Florence Fennel' or 'bulbing fennel' which is grown primarily for the bulbous base. This type grows best in cooler weather and in full sun. As such, you probably won't see it at the supermarket or specialty stores until late summer or early fall.

    Fennel takes anywhere from 60 to 110 days from seed to harvest, depending on the growing conditions, temperature, your growing zone, variety and at what size you harvest the base. Planting in early spring for an early summer harvest, or in mid- to late-summer for a fall harvest is best. Kmart currently does not sell fennel seeds for planting online, but Burpee sells them online:

    All parts of the bulbing type fennel can be used. The young leaves are great with eggs or in sauces and soups and are also typically tossed into salad or cold pasta or bean dishes. The bulbous base can be cut into slices for fresh eating (try it with a bean dip) or for sautéing or roasting. My favorite way to use the bulb is roasted in the oven with any type of veggie, such as zucchini or beets. I also use it with ratatouille, pasta or potato dishes, and especially baked or roasted with whole fish (salmon is a winner) or stuffed into chicken. Good luck!

    1. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Thanks so much Kris,
      I waited a bit to see what I was going to do and am glad you gave suggestions besides fish. I have eaten it with Italian food, but even though we have loads of Anise here every year, they never bring in Fennel. I don't know one person who uses Anise. Tomorrow will be eggs with the young leaves as that is the major part that grew. I will let the other one get bigger before harvest. I am certainly going to try for seeds next year as I think my packet blew away and that is why I could not locate it to say exactly what type it was.

      I do have one last request. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from an expert. But, I have been missing your articles. Is there a link to take us there, and I can bookmark it?

    2. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Hi For2Day. Before I answer your "one last request" (by the way, I hope you have many continued requests now and into the future), I wanted to enlighten you a bit on marketing tactics of supermarkets. Most likely the "anise" in your supermarket is fennel. I've come across many supermarkets that label fennel as anise, and when I asked the produce managers about the "anise" label they always said that's just how they are told to label it, but that it is actually fennel. Same strategies can be found in the sweet potato department where they label the lighter colored flesh variety as "sweet potato", but label the deep orange type as "yams". The orange-fleshed "yam" is in fact not a yam but rather a different variety of sweet potato.

      Now on to your question. You can find my articles by clicking on "blog posts" and then clicking on "Garden Solutions Center", or by clicking on my name, which is an easy as all of my articles are listed so that you can click, read, and hopefully comment on each one. Till next time!

    3. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      That is an interesting explanation and when I first saw them, I said that looks a lot like fennel. But, I never questioned it beyond that because I never saw it grown before, or as a product to cook with whole. I would have spent a long time without asking someone. I actually have this great book called Eyewitness Handbooks Herbs, and before I learned how to use a computer, it was my visual reference. I once grew a burdock/gobo and even though I knew exactly what it was, I ended up not eating it. I had just started container gardening and somehow convinced myself something else had grown. I think that it took me over an hour to get it out, and the pot broke. My friend grew it on her land and it was worse. I appreciate your answers and I will take a look at your articles very soon. I am debating ordering mint varieties and my chocolate mint could not stand the fluctuating weather (it survived the cold). There seem to be some interesting ones.

    4. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Wow - you seem to be very good at "herbing" ! It's going to be nice having a source-point (' ',) !

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