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Steamed Fennel

Low Fat Recipe

Enjoy Steamed and Broiled Fennel. The strong licorice flavor becomes milder when cooked, so steamed or grilled fennel is pleasantly sweet. Look for fennel with outer stalks at least 9-inches long; the bulbs should be pale greenish-white and crisp. Steaming fennel is the easiest way to prepare the bulb. After it is steamed, broil or grill it, the use as a garnish on a green salad.

Steamed Fennel


2 small fennel bulbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Recipe Directions

Trim off tops of fennel and remove tough outer leaves. Thickly slice each bulb.

Place in steamer over simmering water. Cover and steam five minutes.

Drain and place in shallow baking dish. Brush surface of fennel with olive oil.

Broil four to five inches from heat source one to two minutes or until lightly browned. Recipe makes two to three servings.

Variation: Braised Fennel

Braised Fennel with garlic cloves and ground fennel seeds, fennel bulbs and chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste.

Braised Fennel

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
6 large fennel bulbs
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Wash the fennel and trim the stalks flush with the bulb. Cut off any discolored or bruised layers. Reserve several fennel fronds for garnish. Slice each fennel bulb in half lengthwise and remove the core.

In a large saucepan, add the fennel, garlic slices, fennel seed and chicken stock. Cook until the fennel can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Finely chop several of the fennel fronds to garnish the dish.

Fennel Notes

The feathery fronds and celery-like appearance of fennel make it an unusual vegetable for the America table; however, chefs and cooks experienced in Italian or French cuisine believe fennel's licorice-like flavor offers medicinal qualities to menus; it encourages the appetite, refreshes the palate and speeds digestion. The bulbous vegetable root, called Florentine fennel, can be sliced, steamed and grilled. It is very tasty, similar to artichoke or celery.

Did you know?

Roman bakers are said to put the herb under their loaves in the oven to make the bread taste agreeable.