How to Make Fennel Recipes

It took years before I learned how to make fennel recipes. The bulb of fennel, the greenery, flowers and the seeds are all used in cooking. Although fennel is considered by many to be an herb, the bulb is a vegetable much like onion bulbs. This is not something I grew up eating because we never grew it. It is native to the Mediterranean area but is now common in most parts of the world. This perennial plant is recognized by its feathery leaves giving away its relationship to the carrot family. Other than the appearance and the fact that it is a root vegetable, to me the similarities end.

How to Cook Fennel RecipesHow to Cook Fennel Recipes

The taste is nothing like carrots is why I said the appearance and the root ends the similarity. Even after I discovered fennel, it is one of those foods which needed to grow on me. I was not in a hurry to learn how to make fennel recipes. The small delicate yellow flowers are the most potent flavor like smoky anise or licorice. Even though milder, the seeds and bulb still offer a distinct taste of anise. The texture of fennel is crunchy, similar to celery. After years of experimenting with recipes, I found some ingredients blend with fennel better than others. Whether you use the greenery, seeds or bulb, I love the flavor blended in all types of salads, with seafood and the flavor or orange.

I was more eager to learn how to make fennel recipes when I learned how healthy it is. I must add that I know many people who love the taste of fennel recipes better than anything. Now, I have a lot of recipes with fennel that I love the flavor. It is a good idea to try cooking with it if only for the nutritional value. It is a rich source of fiber, protein and B vitamins. It also contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. These supplements alone make it worth adding fennel recipes to your diet.


Simple Fennel Orange Salad RecipeSimple Fennel Orange Salad Recipe

Learn how to make fennel recipes like this simple delicious salad. It is also easy to adjust ingredients.

  • Fennel bulb (Trim and slice very thinly)
  • Lemon juice
  • Mandarin oranges

Sprinkle lemon juice over the fennel; toss to coat and let stand 5 minutes.

Drain mandarin oranges; toss with the fennel and serve.


Learn how to make fennel recipes with seafood.

  • 3 Sliced shallots
  • 1 ½ Cups olive oil (Divided)
  • 2 Tomatoes (Chopped)
  • ½ Cup white wine
  • 1/3 Cup tomato juice
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • 22 Cloves garlic
  • 2 Green bell peppers (Divided)
  • 2 Red bell peppers (Divided)
  • 7 Ounces black olives (Drained)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ Cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Yellow squash (Diced)
  • 1 Bulb fennel (Diced)
  • 1 Medium eggplant (Diced)
  • 1 Zucchini (Diced)
  • 1 Thyme branch
  • 6 Chilean bass filets (5 Ounces each)

Prepare a sauce by sautéing shallots in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Add the chopped tomatoes and wine; cook and stir to reduce liquid.

Stir in the tomato juice; cook until liquid is reduced.

Pour mixture into blender container; add ½ cup of oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Blend well; set aside and keep warm.

Blanch garlic cloves 3 times; poach the garlic in ½ cup of the oil until tender (Reserve oil)

For crust place in blender 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, olives, cheese, crumbs and egg.

Pulse until well blended adding salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Make a ratatouille by combining remaining bell peppers, squash and fennel in skillet with reserved garlic oil.

Add fennel, eggplant, zucchini and thyme to the mixture; sauté just until tender.

Place the fish in a baking pan; place a portion of the crust mixture on each fish fillet.

Add remaining oil to the pan; bake for 10 minutes.

To serve place a portion of the ratatouille on each dinner plate; add the fish filets.

Spoon the tomato sauce around the fish; garnish with the cloves of garlic.

Serves 6.

CHEESE POLENTA with vegetables

Learn how to make fennel recipes like this cheese polenta. Even with onions and chives the fennel bulb adds a distinct unique flavor to the palate.

Cheese Polenta

  • 1 Cup cold water
  • 1 Cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ½ Cups boiling water
  • 4 Tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

Stir water into cornmeal in a large saucepan; heat over medium until warm.

Slowly stir in boiling water; bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Reduce heat to low; cook and stir constantly until thickened about 15 minutes.

Stir in cheese, garlic and salt; pour into greased 8 inch round pan and let set until firm.

Vegetable Medley

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 Medium fennel bulb with stalks (core and cut in thin wedges)
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons snipped chives
  • ½ Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Carrots (Cut in julienne strips)
  • 4 Ounces medium Brussels sprouts (Cut in halves)
  • ½ to 1 Cup vegetable stock
  • Salt/pepper

Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium until butter melts.

Add fennel and cook 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned on both sides; place in medium bowl.

Add onions, chives, sugar, to the skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes until onions are tender.

Return the fennel to the skillet; add carrots, Brussels sprouts and ½ cup of stock.

Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until sprouts are tender.

NOTE: Add more stock if needed; salt and pepper to taste.

TO SERVE spray skillet with cooking spray; heat until hot.

Cut cheese polenta in pie wedges; cook about 3 minutes on each side until brown.

Place polenta on serving plates and top with the vegetable medley.


  • 5 Bulbs of fennel
  • Salt/ pepper
  • ¼ Pound slab bacon (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Onion (Peel and chop)
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • Bouquet garni
  • 1/3 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sprigs of parsley

Trim fennel and cut each bulb in half; blanch in boiling water for 10 minutes and drain.

Over medium heat melt butter in flameproof casserole; fry bacon for 5 minutes.

Arrange fennel and onion on top of the bacon; cover with broth.

Add bouquet of garni and seasoning; cover and simmer for 45 minutes until tender.

Remove bouquet of garni; sprinkle fennel with grated cheese.

Garnish with parsley; serve as a side dish to fish, chicken or ham.

Serves 6.

POACHED CHICKEN with fennel, turnips, and carrots

Learn how to make fennel recipes as entrees.

  • 1 Chicken (Cut into 8 serving pieces)
  • 1 Small onion (Press 3 whole cloves in onion)
  • ¾ Cup thinly sliced celery
  • 8 Ounces fennel bulb (Cut in quarters)
  • ½ Teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 5 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 Medium turnips (Peel and quartered)
  • 2 Small carrots (Peel and cut in 2 inch lengths)
  • 1 Large leek (6 ounces) including green top (cut in half lengthwise)

Place chicken pieces in large Dutch oven; add onion, celery and fennel.

Sprinkle with the thyme, salt and pepper; add bay leaf, stock and enough water to cover.

Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Add turnips, carrots and leek; cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.

NOTE: Prick chicken and vegetables to check for tenderness and doneness.

To serve arrange chicken pieces in shallow serving dish.

Surround by vegetables; cover dish with foil to keep warm.

Strain broth discarding bay leaf and other solids; return to Dutch oven.

Boil broth for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 cup.

Pour broth over the chicken and vegetables; serves 4.

RICE SALAD with anchovy dressing

Learn how to make fennel recipes with rice.

  • 1 Cup long grain rice
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 Can anchovy fillets
  • 2 Large hard cooked eggs (Shell and chop fine)
  • 1 Teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Carrot 
  • 1 Small onion (Finely chop)
  • 1 Green chili pepper (Finely slice)
  • 1 Sweet red pepper (Seed and slice thin)
  • 1 Fennel bulb (Thinly slice bulb, chop top)
  • ½ cup pitted ripe olives
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped chives

Cook rice in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until tender.

Drain rice and rinse under cold water to cool.

Drain anchovies and reserve half for garnish.

Put remaining anchovies into mortar and pound into paste.

Add eggs and mustard to mortar; gradually add oil and season to taste.

Peel carrot and cut shallow groves at intervals along the length.

Slice carrot thinly into a bowl with the rice.

Add to bowl the onion, chili pepper, pepper, chopped and sliced fennel.

Toss lightly and chill for 30 minutes; serve with favorite dressing (I like a good vinegar and oil).

Serves 4.


Learn how to make fennel recipes that are side dishes.

  • 1 Pound fennel bulbs
  • 1 Cup water
  • ½ Cup whipping cream
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup coarsely crushed saltine crackers
  • ¼ Teaspoon paprika

Cut off the root end and tough stalks from the each bulb.

Cut each bulb in half lengthwise; slice ¼ inch thick.

In microwave bowl cover fennel with water.

Cook on high 10 to 12 minutes stirring every 3 minutes; drain.

Combine whipping cream and salt in casserole dish.

Stir in the drained fennel until coated with cream.

In small bowl combine melted butter, cracker crumbs and paprika.

Sprinkle crumb mixture over the fennel; microwave on medium power 8 minutes.

NOTE: I like it better baked in preheated oven at 350F degrees about 20 minutes.


Learn how to make fennel recipes that are simple and delicious like this salad.

  • 1 Cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 Large shallot (Slice)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Large fennel bulb
  • 4 Packages (2/3 ounces each) arugula (Wash and trim)
  • ½ Medium size purple onion (Slice very thin)
  • 3 Medium oranges (Peel and section)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to boil over medium high heat.

Cook mixture for 14 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup.

Cool mixture; remove and discard the bay leaf.

Pour orange juice mixture and oil into blender container.

Process mixture until smooth; transfer mixture to a bowl; cover and chill overnight.

Trim tough stalks from the fennel; cut bulb into thin slices.

Combine fennel, arugula and onion in a large bowl.

Pour chilled dressing over the salad; toss well to coat.

Arrange salad on individual salad plates; arrange orange sections around salads.

Makes 6 servings.