Oh, fennel, you were an odd vegetable to have in my home for a few days. You took up a large portion of fridge space with stalks I didn’t even enjoy eating. Every time I opened the door I checked on you to be sure you don’t spoil in a heartbeat and you made my hands smell like licorice whenever I worked with you.
You were a nice visitor fennel, but I am relieved to see you go.
I didn’t hate fennel but I wasn’t enthusiastic whenever I ate it. That’s a bummer though since it seems like such an interesting vegetable. The seeds make a tasty spice, it’s a green vegetable that is hardy enough to be roasted, and each end on the thing tastes totally different from the other.
Realistically though, I may not try to use it again. They cost $3.48 each at the store and, I think I may have mentioned this before, they smell like a candy I gain no enjoyment from eating.
All that being said, it was refreshing to eat. We’re slogging through winter and anything green will remind me of sunny days and gardens. Especially after the week we had with parsnips, I wanted something fresher in my life and fennel delivered on that expectation.
No, you know what? I am being so harsh to fennel, it is a useful vegetable everyone should let cross their dinner plates at least once in their lives. Roast them, eat them raw, make a slaw, sauteè with onions, or save the fronds and use them as light seasoning or just pretty garnish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a food just because it looks nice. I know you probably eyeballed fennel once in a while when you see it in the “unique” corner of produce.
When we get down to it, the licorice smell didn’t really bother me that much. I think I am more just intrigued that a vegetable could smell like that. Whenever I would get them out I was always worried it would just overpower everything else and taste like that, especially with the salad. I should have just relaxed each time because they turned out perfectly. I got to work on trusting the recipes and going along with integrating these veggies.
Like I said, and I usually say, I hope that you all get a chance to try these and not let the smell intimidate you. Make sure you use them a few days after purchase and that they aren’t already going downhill. Don’t worry about not using the stalks and just try a nibble of them if you aren’t sure, just a little one. It never hurts to try just a little bit.