Vegetable – Florence Fennel

I had seen this vegetables on some Western recipe sites.  So, when it appears on our supermarket shelves, I quickly grabbed a head for experimenting.  It is such a lovely looking vegetable isn’t it?

The vegetable is called Florence Fennel and from what I gathered on the net, it is grown as vegetable whilst another fennel is grown for its seed.  We used the fennel seeds in our cooking and fennel seeds can be made into tea too.  (On a side note, for those breastfeeding moms, you can immerse  fennel seeds with fenugreek seeds in hot water for a comforting tea which did helped to increase my milk production.)  (more info on Wikipedia)

This bulb here about the size of my palm costs only RM4.99 from Tesco.  I had tasted the stem and it is crispy and crunchy with a very strong taste of aniseed.  After chewing it leaves a ‘sweet’ taste in the tongue.  In fact, it is very much like chewing fennel seeds and sugar cubes like those provided by the North Indian restaurant.

Its green feathery and hairy leaves look so pretty with the white, fat, juicy bulb.  So, I took several shots of the vegetable until………..

I realised something is there amongst the greens, not see with my naked eye but magnified with my macro shots. 🙂

Hahaha, a little baby butterfly!  A green larvae!  After I realised its presence, I tried to search but can’t seem to find it now.  I don’t know where the little worm is hiding.  Eeek….Maybe I will soak the vege with some salt water for a few seconds and give it a good splash of water and hope it goes down my drain pipe.  :)  That’s what I do with earthworms.  BTW, it is good when there are some natural living organism like worms on the vegetables because it means it is not poisoned with too much pesticides and herbicides.
As for how to cook it, I got no idea!  Maybe I will braise the fennel with tomatoes and later add shrimps and serve over a bed of pasta.  It has very strong smell, so you either like it or can’t stand it.  I love it.   If you have any idea how to prepare the best Florence fennel vegetable, please do share.  Maybe I will buy them more often while they are in stock.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

5 thoughts on “Vegetable – Florence Fennel

    maR

    (July 21, 2006 - 6:44 pm)

    Kak lilian, braising it is good. Plus it is good thinly sliced in salads, too

    Gertrude

    (July 21, 2006 - 7:00 pm)

    Lilian, you can roast it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top when is done. Is yummy this way.

    Daniel

    (July 22, 2006 - 12:48 am)

    Hi Lilian,
    I’ve actually use this veg before to cook a french soup called “Bouillabaisse”. If you like the taste of fennel, you’ll probably like this soup. Attached is the link to recipe on cooking this famous soup. Enjoy!http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2002/11/07/dining/cooking/index.html

    […] Now, I am ready for another head of fennel to try out the other suggestions from the readers. […]

    bapester

    (September 13, 2006 - 10:57 pm)

    Hey there
    I was watching Oliver’s Twist on TV the other night, and he recommended a Fish Linguine recipe which I am raring to try. Here it is http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_23545_PRINT-RECIPE-FULL-PAGE,00.html

    Most of the ingredients seem to be available in Malaysia, except for the fennel bulb. Thanks to your blog, now I know it’s available over here! Does the vege have a Malaysian name?

    Oh, the recipes also require anchovies of the Italian kind, which I presume cannot be substituted by local anchovies hehe.

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