Selection and Storage
Common fennel grows wild and abundant in many areas of Australia but does not develop the edible bulbs of the Florence or bulb fennel that are available in fruit shops. The fronds of the common fennel can be used in cooking. Look for fennel bulbs that are firm with no bruising or marks. Freshness is also indicated by whether the fronds are perky and still attached. Fennel has an aniseed flavour that is an acquired taste. Stir in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Fennel is available all year round but is best from April to October.
Wash fennel thoroughly before use and remove tough outer layer(s). Trim the base of the fennel then thinly slice using a knife or a mandolin or dice depending on use. Fennel can be sliced thinly and used raw, fried, roasted, boiled and roasted and then pureed or braised. Fennel is good with parmesan and goatâ€™s cheese, pasta, olives, nuts, eggs, cream, fish, chicken, potatoes and nuts.
Fennel is a good source of niacin, calcium, phosphorous, copper, fibre, vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese.