Watch and learn how to prepare fennel with this easy tutorial, including step-by-step photos and a short video. You’ll learn what part of fennel you should eat, how to slice fennel, and ways to use this bulbous vegetable.
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Have you seen fennel at the store or farmers market but don’t know what to do with it? Trust me, you’re not alone. That’s where I come in! I’m here to help you get comfortable with this delicious vegetable.
With a slightly sweet, licorice-like taste, fennel provides a wonderful flavor to so many dishes. You can eat it raw, roasted, or cooked in salads, stews, soups, and pasta dishes. In fact, fennel is often used as the base for flavorful broths that chefs use to braise fish and meats.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to prepare fennel. I’ve included tips for slicing and shaving this bulbous vegetable, as well as my favorite ways to cook with it. Enjoy!
What part of fennel do you eat?
Most recipes call for fennel bulbs, but fennel is often sold with its stalks and fronds (the green, wispy things on the stalks) intact. You can save the fronds to use as garnish for dishes, and the stalks can be used like celery in soups and stocks. Fennel fronds can also be added to dishes in the same manner as parsley, dill, or other herbs.
How do you prepare fennel?
- Slice off the stalks and fronds.
- Remove the root end.
- Slice the bulb into quarters.
- Remove the core from each quarter with your knife.
- Peel apart the layers of each quarter, then slice into your desired size and shape.
How to Shave Fennel
If a dish calls for shaved, instead of sliced or diced, fennel, follow the above steps but with one variation. Keep each layer of the fennel bulb intact, instead of cutting it in half like you would when making a smaller dice. Then, use a sharp knife to make thin shavings that look like half moons.
If you’re in the market for a new chef’s knife, I highly recommend this Shun cutlery chef’s knife. It makes preparing fennel and other veggies a breeze! I also use these bamboo cutting boards with rubber stoppers from Martha Stewart.
How to Use Fennel
Now that you know how to prepare fennel, let’s discuss ways to use this delicious veggie. Here are some of my favorites recipes with fennel:
- Healthy Fennel Stew with Shrimp
- Coconut Cod with Fennel and Spinach (seafood and fennel are a perfect match!)
- Simple Shaved Carrot and Fennel Salad
- Warm Fennel Salad with Grapes and Feta
- Lemony Fennel Lentil Salad with Parsley
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How to Prepare Fennel
- 1 bulb fennel
- Slice off the stalks and fronds. Discard or save for later use. The fronds can be used in the same ways as herbs, and the stalks can be used like celery in soups and stocks.
- Remove the root end, and slice the bulb into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter with your knife.
- Peel apart the layers, and slice into your desired shape and size. If a recipe calls for shaved fennel, cut it very thinly with a sharp knife to make "shavings."
- Fennel can be enjoyed raw, roasted, or cooked in soups or pasta dishes.
- Fennel bulbs can be stored in a sealed bag in the fridge for about a week. Before storing, remove the stalks and fronds.
- Sliced fennel will last in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
Happy cooking! – Lizzie
Very helpful to a novice cook! Thanks!
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Lisa, I’m so glad this was helpful to you!