Thursday, March 29, 2012


We offer three varieties of fennel. All have feathery anise-scented foliage and flat yellow flowers. Sweet fennel’s foliage is bright green; bronze’s is dark reddish-brown. Both come back--from the root or certainly by reseeding. Florence fennel has green foliage and yellow flowers, but it’s the only variety that produces a bulb that can be eaten raw or cooked.

All are host plants for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, along with dill, parsley and rue. Foliage and seeds can both be used in cooking and baking. Fennel is paired with fish, shellfish, pork, ham and sausage, breads, cabbage, eggplant and beans. Add grated raw fennel bulb to salads or sauté’ with onion as a side dish. For a delicious autumn salad, combine arugula, fennel bulb, cold cooked beets and pears.

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