This delicious herb adds a crunchy, slightly sweet, licorice flavor to dishes.  It is used in lots of Italian dishes and is called Finnochio by Italians.  Here are a few recipes to try!

Beet, Fennel and Orange Salad~

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 4  beets, greens removed
  • 4  oranges
  • 2  fennel bulbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4  cup  vegetable oil
  • 1/4  cup  olive oil

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim beets and roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Cut a thick slice off top and bottom of each orange. Use a sharp knife to cut away peel and pith from fruit, slicing from top to bottom. Working over a bowl to catch juices, cut between membranes and remove orange segments. Drain on paper towels. Reserve juices.
  • Cut fennel bulbs into quarters, remove core and pull apart layers. Thinly slice each layer and transfer to bowl of collected orange juice; toss.
  • Remove beets from oven. When cool enough to handle, hold under cold running water and rub off skins. Halve beets; cut each half into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  • Make vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard. Slowly add both oils, whisking constantly.
  • Assemble salad: Drain juice from fennel and toss fennel with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette. Arrange fennel on salad plates and place oranges and beets on top. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over salad.

Italian Steamed Mussels~ (Recipe altered from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel – trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup ouzo
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until tender. Stir in fennel and tomato, and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix white wine, ouzo, and heavy cream into the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in mussels, 1/2 the basil, and salt.
  3. Cover saucepan, and continue cooking about 5 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Garnish with remaining basil to serve.

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Fennel and Potato Gratin~ (Recipe taken from Farmer John’s Cookbook

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 medium fennel bulb or two small, cut crosswise into 1/8- inch slices
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 large or 4 small potatoes)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of Grassland Farm Organic Milk (or half and half)
  • 2 tbsp. butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat shallow 2-qt. baking dish with butter.
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of fennel slices. Cover with half the potato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layers until you have used up slices.
  • Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Pour it over the fennel and potato.
  • Use a large spatula to press down on the top layer to submerge it. Dot with remaining butter. Baker until potatoes are tender and the top is golden, about 1 hour.

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Fennel and Cucumber Salad~ (Recipe from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 slicing cucumber or two pickling cucumbers, diced
  • 2 medium or 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

Directions

  1. 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.