Chris Martin
3 min readSep 22, 2023


Discovering Fennel: Your Next Culinary Obsession

Photo of Fennel Fronds as if a forest hiding a dear secret by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

Introduction: Unveiling the Mysteries of Fennel

Hey, food explorers!

Let’s talk about fennel.

This underappreciated veggie offers a licorice-like flavor that can send a familiar dish into uncharted territories of taste.

Fun Fact: While you might think of it as a Mediterranean gem, fennel actually originated in the Middle East. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

Fennel Across the Globe

Fennel is a beloved ingredient in various culinary landscapes. Some countries that do it justice:

- Italy: Essential in pasta sauces and sausages.
- India: Used as a spice and also as an after-meal digestive aid.
- France: Incorporated in fish dishes and Provençal cuisine.
- USA: Increasingly popular in slaws, salads, and grilling.

The Art of Cleaning Fennel

When you get your hands on fresh fennel, cut off the stalks and fronds first.

You can save them for garnishes or broths. Peel off any wilted or brown layers, then give it a good rinse and pat dry.

You’re now ready to cook!

Three Versatile Ways to Savor Fennel

1. Raw in Salads: Thinly slice the fennel and toss it with some arugula, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.

2. Roasted: Quarter the fennel bulbs, coat them in olive oil, and roast until caramelized.

3. In Soups: Fennel adds depth to seafood or vegetable-based soups.

Perfect Pairings: 10 Ingredients that Shine with Fennel

- Lemon
- Garlic
- Olive oil
- Parsley
- Seafood (particularly salmon and shellfish)
- Pork
- Red pepper flakes
- Tomatoes
- White wine
- Parmesan

Who Am I?

The author Commis Chef Chris in uniform cleaning a grill with a Great Scrape during a weekend-long engagement at a lodge in Wisconsin.

I’m Commis Chef Chris, a culinary professional with 19 years in the kitchen, and the last 6 as a personal chef.

Whether it’s the busy family of five or the local NFL superstar, I’ve cooked for them all, maybe even your Fire Chief neighbor.

Varieties of Fennel to Explore

1. Florence Fennel: Mild and sweet, most commonly used for cooking.
2. Common Fennel: Stronger flavor, often used for its seeds.
3. Bronze Fennel: A beautiful plant with a softer taste, used often as a garnish.
4. Wild Fennel: Strongest flavor and mostly used for seeds and fronds.
5. Fernleaf Fennel: Smaller, more delicate, and commonly found in gardens for ornamental purposes.

FAQs about Fennel

1. Is fennel good for digestion?
Yes, fennel seeds are often used as a digestive aid.

2. Can I eat the entire fennel plant?
Absolutely! From bulb to seeds to fronds, the entire plant is edible.

Your Turn to Chime In!

Have you used fennel in a way that wowed your guests or family? Do share in the comments below.

Wrapping It Up

Looking to elevate your dinners and social gatherings with an in-home chef? Well, look no further; you’ve got a gourmet chef for hire right here in Minnesota.

Don’t forget to explore the hyperlinks scattered throughout for a richer culinary experience.

If this post has stirred your culinary senses, share the love. Your support fuels my lifelong passion for the culinary arts.

Here’s to our collective culinary adventure!

**Question**: What’s your favorite dish that features fennel? Let the discussion begin!



Chris Martin

A Chef of 18 years using his knowledge and expertise to connect Chefs & foodies to create a great experience by making ordering a Chef as easy as a pizza.