Fennel is composed of a white or pale green. closely intertwined stalks are extend from the bulb. The stalks are topped with bristly green leaves, The plant produces flowers and fennel seeds near the cluster of leaves. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.
Fennel's aromatic taste is unique, strikingly similar of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace. Fennel's texture is similar to that of celery, having a crunchy and concave texture.
The scientific name for fennel is Foeniculum vulgare.
Fennel is available at the Bountiful Blessings Farm during the summer months.
At Bountiful Blessings Farm we add fennel to our salads, roast beef, stews and soup. There are many other ways to use fennel. Here is a recipe from our farm cookbook (soon to be available).
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
2 medium bulbs fennel, cut into sixths
2 medium red onions, cut into sixths
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 whole pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Adjust rack to middle position and place an empty 13- by 9-inch baking dish in the middle. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, toss fennel, onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. When the oven is hot, remove the baking dish, add the vegetables, and return to oven. Roast, stirring occasionally, until starting to tenderize, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over pork and season with salt and pepper. Rub fennel seeds and thyme leaves on exterior. When vegetables are ready, remove baking dish from oven, and push the vegetables to the sides of the dish with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place the pork in the center and return to oven. Roast until the thickest part of the pork registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
While the pork is resting, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Slice the pork into thick rounds, and plate along with the roasted fennel and onion. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the top. Serve immediately.
We hope you enjoy this recipe!!