Fennel

Fall, Winter, Spring

Health Benefits

Fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, providing an exclusive blend of antioxidant properties. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, and may also be used for preventing colon cancer.

History

Fennel originated in the Mediterranean Basin and was cultivated by the ancient Romans for its edible shoots and its succulent, aromatic fruit.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

To avoid fennel from drying out, keep slices wrapped in damp paper towels, placed in a perforated bag, and stored in the refrigerator. This will keep the fennel fresh for up to three days.

How to Prepare

To prepare, wash and trim off the green tops (sometimes used as a garnish). Slice off the shoots and root. Peel the tough outer layer. Fennel can be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes, but cutting the bulb into half-moon shapes seems to be the preferred method. When cooking whole, cut out the harsh central core from the bottom. During preparation, it is important to cut the bulb into thin slices.

Ways to Enjoy

Fennel is a versatile vegetable and the possibilities for cooking with this plant are endless. It has a crisp texture when eaten raw with a slightly sweet anise, or licorice flavor. When thinly sliced, fennel adds a cool crunch to fresh green salads. Cooked, the taste of licorice is much more subtle and the texture becomes smooth and creamy, losing the crunch it once had when raw, but gaining in sweetness. It is delicious roasted at high temperatures, or slowly sautéed in a bit of olive oil. Sweet and tangy flavors emerge when braised, mellowing out fennels taste of licorice. It can also be grilled, boiled, steamed, pan-fried, and sautéed.

Health Benefits

Fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, providing an exclusive blend of antioxidant properties. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, and may also be used for preventing colon cancer.

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