Fennel - delicious, nutritious and extremely versatile

new life farm fennel .jpg

Lots of love for fennel

What we are doing with fennel at New Life Farm…

Do you have a vegetable that for some odd reason, kind of intimidates you...? You look at it in the store, you see beautiful recipes for it online but when it comes to actually cooking with it, you chicken out and return to the staples you know..... 

Ordinarily we are very proud to say that we experiment with every vegetable that crosses our path, with the one exception (until very recently) - FENNEL!

We've grown it for the past 3 years, we've admired its pretty appearance and beamed with pride when friends have told us these are the best fennel they've ever tasted. Yet we'd never really used it until now!

Well, we are certainly making up for lost time with a sensational fennel patch pumping out fennel this Winter at New Life Farm. And we're proud to say this very beautiful looking, sweet and crunchy, versatile ( I mean seriously, is there anything this vegetable can't be turned into?!), incredibly nutrient dense (read more about it's health benefits here) vegetable has just taken over as our number 1 'go to' staple in the kitchen this season. 

We wanted to share with you our favourite ways to use fennel (in case this is one of your intimidators in the kitchen too!). 

How we like to eat fennel 

  • Make a hearty fennel pie - soooo many great recipes online. We loosely base ours on this one using chicken thighs but we keep ours dairy free and make it rich by reducing the white wine with the fennel, onion and garlic and just add a touch of flour to thicken the filling

  • Raw in salads - coleslaw, radish and fennel salad (We make up a Winter slaw from the garden with cabbage, grated radish, shredded fennel, shallots, parsley and whatever else we have on hand with a spoon of homemade mayo, spoon of mustard, glug of apple cider vinegar and lemon and salt and pepper - yum!)

  • Braised with potatoes - Martha Stewart published this simple, yummy recipe

  • Soups, desserts, with fish, pork and chicken, in salads - this gourmet traveller recipe collection of '31 Autumn Fennel Recipes' makes our mouth water!

  • Turn the ferny tops into pesto! Pretty much any green can become pesto! This is a yummy vegan version here by 'Whole Food Bellies'. You don't really miss the cheese but if you like it a little richer you can just add some Parmesan to taste

  • Use the stalks and ferns to make your own stock

  • Juice up the tops or add to smoothies

Kale, fennel and broccoli slaw image courtesy of Gourmet Traveller

Kale, fennel and broccoli slaw image courtesy of Gourmet Traveller

We hope you've been a little inspired to get creative with fennel. Be sure to pick some up this week from the Farm (orders open here) 

Are you doing something funky with fennel? Be sure to let us know!