Eating Local: Fennel Bulb

Celebrating the Art of Good Food


Roberta Jackson, RD

Culinary Nutritionist


we are grateful to have Roberta working with us to generate some resources to help you craft healthy, delicious dishes with Farmhub produce. Roberta brings years of experience as a chef and registered dietitian to provide insights on food that tastes good and is good for you. Her blog posts feature recipes made with as much FarmHub produce as possible, at three levels of difficulty. You can connect with Roberta on Instagram @robertaleighjackson.


Fennel bulb, Finocchio (1), is from the same family as the herb that grows abundantly wild in our capital city. Like many relatives, it shares some similarities like an aniseed flavour, but altogether different physical attributes: bulb shaped, white with a heavy round bottom. It is best harvested from June to September and the smaller bulbs tend to be more tender. Fennel bulb is crisp and refreshing for the palate when eaten raw. The flavour mellows after cooking and can be treated much like an onion. Caramelized! Yes! Pasta sauces! Yes, Yes! This is why fennel is commonly found in Italian cuisine (1). High in Vitamin C, fiber and folacin (Folic Acid), fennel is a powerful addition of flavour and nutrients (2).


Delicious ways to enjoy fennel


Shaved fennel salad


When eating fennel fresh it is best to wash then trim the stalks and base of the bulb, and slice it thinly. Fennel will discolour when exposed to oxygen, so dress your fresh salads immediately. This also gives the fennel time to absorb all those delicious flavours like in this salad that rested for an hour in the fridge.


This recipe included a few unique ingredients upping the protein: toasted almonds for a lovely crunch, and canned, rinsed beans. I used Romano but any variety available would work just as well.











so simple and delicious....








Roasted fennel with parmesan


When fennel bulb is roasted subtle flavours still come through along with the magic of caramelization caused by the reduction of sugars. Parmesan adds some sharpness to this mellow dish, which would be an ideal accompaniment for pork, sausage or an oil pasta.





Colour, flavour, and opportunity to use what's in season


Fennel and tomato rustic tart


Brightly coloured tomatoes pair so well with fennel, and the repetition of fennel seed and fennel bulb pack this vegetable tart with so much flavour.


It take some planning and time to create the pastry like I have here in the photo, but its not essential to make your own. This recipe could also be equally successful with phyllo or puff pastry from your grocer.











Helpful links to food resources:

  1. How to grow fennel from seed

  2. Half your plate - fennel nutrition

  3. Showing food fennel - FooDB

  4. Fennel bulb - Good food BBC

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