Fennel is a pretty versatile vegetable. The seeds from the plant are used in a lot of the sausages that we eat, but it’s the bulb we’re interested in today. Fennel’s a crunchy and slightly sweet vegetable with a hint of licorice flavor that’s eaten both raw (mostly in salads), and cooked (mainly in Italian and Mediterranean dishes). It’s considered in season from autumn through early spring.
When you’re buying fennel in the grocery store you’ll see a white bulb with a bunch of skinny green stalks topped with feathery green leaves. It’s the white bulb part that’s used in most cooking. While the stalks and leaves are edible, they don’t have a great flavor and are really only used for garnish, if at all.
This is how the fennel will probably look when you buy it.
The first thing to do is take a tiny slice off the bottom of the bulb.
Next, remove any of the outer sections that are stained. I only removed the left hand section because the right side had only one small area of brown staining. For small areas like that you can just use a peeler to take off the stained area.
Now, trim off the stalks.
Slice the bulb in half. The next step is to remove that core you see in the center.
Here are the halves with the cores cut out.
Lay each half down, then slice in half length wise. Now slice thinly.
Here’s the sliced up fennel, that’s it, we’re done! Piece of cake