7 Ways to Use Fennel

Fennel can be used in a myriad of ways — raw or cooked, in either sweet or savory applications.

Fennel-and-Sweet-Onion Pizza with Green Olives

This Mediterranean vegetable, at its peak in spring and fall, has a strong anise flavor and crisp texture that's delicious in salads when raw. When cooked, fennel softens and the flavor becomes sweet and mild. Most cooks use only the bulb, but you can treat the feathery fronds as an herb and stuff the stalks into whole fish before roasting.

1. Drinks

Campari-Fennel Aperitif
© Paul Costello

Fennel has been shown to aid in digestion. Muddle the fronds and mix with Campari, the bitter aperitif, and boom: a cocktail that will cure all stomach ills.

2. Risotto

Fennel-and-Sausage Risotto
© Frances Janisch

Add sautéed fennel to a basic saffron risotto or one made with sausage.

3. Braised

Roasted Halibut with Wine-Braised Fennel
© Tina Rupp

Brown and then gently simmer wedges of fennel in an aromatic wine for a simple side dish to serve alongside fish or lamb.

4. Pizza

Fennel-and-Sweet-Onion Pizza with Green Olives

To really bring out fennel's anise flavor, cook it in Pernod, then use it as a topping for pizza.

5. Soup

Smoky Oyster Chowder with Bacon, Rosemary and Fennel

Add diced fennel to any gazpacho or seafood chowder recipe.

6. Tomato sauce

© Quentin Bacon

Add diced fennel to tomato sauce for pasta or for braising eggs — a dish known as shakshuka in the Middle East.

7. Cake

Carrots aren't the only vegetable that taste good in dessert. Fennel adds a very grown-up flavor to this nutty cake.

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