I went most of my life without having fennel. Then one day I had it roasted, the next raw, and I was in love. Surprising, given that I'm not very partial to anise flavoring.
While fennel is very versatile to cook with - you can boil, braise, fry, grill, roast, sauté, or steam it - my favorite way to eat fennel is raw. It makes spectacular salads:
Fennel, edamame, and onion salad
- Raw fennel bulb, stalk, and leaves, raw and chopped
- Edamame, cooked and out of the pods
- Onion, raw and very finely diced
- Olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients to taste. Let combine for at least an hour before serving; the longer you wait, the better the flavors will mesh and the less pungent the onions will be.
This salad is even better when you add in chopped raw mushrooms.