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The fennel has an unmistakable aroma: if you like it, you will love it. Its seeds were valued as aromatic and medicinal plants as early as the Middle Ages. The vegetable tuber was only rediscovered much later. The fennel bulb tastes good both raw and cooked. Its seeds go well with fish and meat, bread and baked goods or pickled vegetables. The herb can also be used for seasoning…
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- Use and preparation
The fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) comes from the umbelliferae family; its relatives include carrots, celery, dill and parsley. The tuber is about the size of a fist, weighs between 250 and 400 grams and is created by the fleshy thickening of the leaf stalks. The pinnate leaves - the fennel herb - are reminiscent of those of the dill. The laterally flattened shape and the white-greenish color of the tuber are typical. If you smell the fennel, the typical aniseed aroma is captivating. The vegetable fennel has only been in use in our part of the world for about 30 years. Vegetable fennel from local cultivation is available from around June to the end of October.
Note The lighter the color of the tuber, the more tender the pulp.
Fennel is a particularly aromatic and low-calorie vegetable. The typical taste is due to the high content of essential oils such as menthol, anethole and fenchone. The essential oils support the stomach and digestion.
The tuber has significant amounts of vitamins A, K, E, folic acid and beta-carotene. It also contains the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Particularly noteworthy are its high levels of vitamin C and iron: fennel has almost twice as much vitamin C as oranges. A quarter of the daily iron requirement of an adult male is covered by 100 grams of the tuber.
|per 100 g edible
|per 100 g edible
|Energy (kcal)||19th||Iron (mg)||2.7|
|Fat (g)||0.3||Vitamin A (µg)||783|
|Protein (g)||1.4||Vitamin B1 (mg)||0.03|
|Carbohydrates (g)||2.8||Vitamin B2 (mg)||0.11|
|Dietary fiber (g)||2||Niacin (mg)||0.2|
|Potassium (mg)||395||Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.1|
|Calcium (mg)||38||Vitamin C (mg)||93|
Use and preparation
The fennel bulb tastes good both raw and cooked. Due to the essential oils, the fennel is also easily digestible as a raw food - cut into small pieces in a salad or simply as a snack. It tastes particularly good combined with nuts! Fennel is suitable for stewing, braising and baking. It is often used in Mediterranean cuisine and can be combined well with other typical Mediterranean vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and olives. Its aromatic taste goes very well with dishes with meat, fish and seafood.
The seeds can also be used to season various dishes such as fish and meat. Fennel seeds are often added to bread and baked goods, pickled vegetables or teas. The herb of the fennel can be used like herbs.
Wash the fennel bulb well under running water before processing. Use a knife to remove brown spots, the green stems and the roots. Halve or quarter the tuber, depending on the recipe and use, and / or cut into small elongated pieces. The fennel can still be used, but as it only tastes fresh, it should not be dried. Fennel cooks in about eight to twelve minutes.
Note Since fennel has a very intense taste, other spices should only be used sparingly.
The fennel should be eaten fresh as possible, as the aroma of the essential oils is weakened. In the refrigerator it can be wrapped in a damp cloth or stored in a plastic bag filled with air for about one to two weeks. Fennel is also suitable for freezing, either briefly blanched or raw.
Note Intense green fennel herb indicates the freshness of the tuber.