24.9 F
Naperville
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Naperville Gardener – Fennel aka sweet anise

-

I have spent hours and hours during this long winter perusing garden catalogs, reorganizing my spice cabinet and trying new recipes. And so I came to the conclusion that my garden absolutely must include fennel!

Krueger_HeadIt’s a beautiful plant with fragrant feathery fronds topping pale green stalks that mature and thicken to form a bulb-like base that grows above ground. Slice the stalks thinly and add to salads, roast them like potato wedges brushed with sea salt and olive oil or sauté slices and add to your favorite potato gratin. So simple, so yummy!

In the garden, if the plants try to form flower stalks, pinch them off so that the energy goes to the delicious “bulb.” It will be ready for your table when it is about a foot and a half tall and the “bulb” is at least 3 inches high. To harvest, cut the “bulb” off with a sharp knife. Another plant may grow, but smaller than the original. Cut off the stems, but don’t discard! Use them in floral arrangements or as a garnish on the plate. If you get distracted by life and your fennel does go to seed, collect the seeds, roast them and add to spaghetti sauce, rubs for grilling, etc.

- Advertisement -

Fennel Salad

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Assorted lettuce greens, enough for 4
8 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. finely chopped parsley
Chunk of Parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Coarsely ground pepper

 

Divide the lettuce among four plates. Top with fennel. Combine the oil and lemon juice and sprinkle on the salad. Add the parsley to the plate and shave the cheese onto the salad. Add salt and pepper, if desired.

Stay Connected!

Get the latest local headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.
SUBSCRIBE
- Advertisement -
Marilyn Krueger
Marilyn Kruegerhttp://www.napervillegardenclub.org
Marilyn Krueger is an avid local gardener and member of the Naperville Garden Club.

LATEST NEWS

DON’T MISS OUT!
GET THE DAILY
SQUARE-SCOOP
The latest local headlines delivered
to your inbox each morning.
SUBSCRIBE
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link

Stay Connected!

Get the latest local headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.
SUBSCRIBE
close-link