how to eat wild fennel

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It takes a lot of flowers to gather much of this yellow "pollen.". Florence Fennel is grown for its bulbous stem, which can be eaten raw, grilled or baked. They are a bit overwhelming on their own. It’s crunchy and sweet when tossed raw into a salad, or silky and toothsome with slow-cooked with a braise. Here’s how to take that hefty bulb of fennel and trim it down into bite-sized pieces. They should look quite dry when this happens, and it will take place quickly. Tips for your first foraging steps. Give it a try and let me know! Yes, rabbits can eat fennel in moderation. I have a ton of wild fennel growing in my yard! Wild (really feral) fennel differs from garden fennel in that it rarely sets a bulb and has smaller seeds than the domesticated variety. Bill Corbett, the pastry chef at Absinthe, has created a pound cake dusted with wild fennel pollen (go to the Eat the Invaders website, www.eattheinvaders.org, for the recipe). I chalked up that experience as a gardening flop. Fennel’s there too. Note how small the wild fennel seeds are. So many of our invasive weeds are edible including the beloved Blackberry Bush and the familiar Dandelion weed (see Wild Edibles – Dandelions, How To Harvest and Women’s Health).Wild Fennel is a common weed originating from the Mediterranean, and while it resembles dill, it offers a distinct anise, or licorice, aroma and flavour. I made a delicious dandelion and fennel kombucha recently that has become one of my favorites! My online foraging course is a great way to learn about wild edible and medicinal plants! (Poppies and Papayas) This recipe makes 3 Tablespoons (so gather those seeds!) (Poppies and Papayas), This recipe makes 3 Tablespoons  (so gather those seeds!). Great post! It's great to help balance the strong taste of fish, especially salmon. Over the years I fished salmon, prawns, shrimp and halibut and each fishery was different. In fact, this mildly licorice-flavored plant is a member of the parsley family. Sweet fennel plant is the older of the two, and even now is barely domesticated –California residents are undoubtedly familiar with the invasive nature of wild fennel. Store in an airtight container, and enjoy! Because of this, it is thought to aid with heartburn. The most commonly available varieties are Florence fennel, wild fennel and the smaller, younger baby fennel. The heirloom tomatoes were locally sourced and absolutely delicious in the omelette (one of the specials). Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack. 3. Sliced fennel bulb is refreshing and unusual when added to a raw vegetable tray with more common vegetables, such as carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets and cherry tomatoes. I discovered it also growing wildly along the beaches of Vancouver Island BC Canada. It is considered an invasive plant, so please harvest and use as much as you want! After steeping for 5 to 20 minutes (it gets pretty strong quickly), strain out the leaves and enjoy the tea! This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. I found some Wild Fennel near our home last year, and could not find any good resources on how to forage/use it! Does it grow in the southeast like Mississippi or Alabama? Five Ways to Eat Fresh Fennel I met a new vegetable recently, and I’m totally infatuated: fennel. Care and Maintenance. After being introduced to California roughly 150 years ago wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) now grows rampant on hillsides, creek beds and just about anywhere else it can lay down its rugged routes. Fennel, the versatile vegetable that has a lovely licorice-like taste, is native to the Mediterranean, where wild (a.k.a., “bitter”) fennel still grows. Find out how to identify fennel, how to forage for fennel, how to prepare it, and how to cook with fennel. how to find joy, how to find your happiness, how do I find my joy, where does joy come from, I love God, How do I get my Joy back? We stayed much longer than we thought (and tried way more treats than we anticipated!). The leaves and fronds should be laid to dry too. You can by all means collect the seed in any stage of its development for use in food, however. The best time to harvest Fennel is in the early morning, when the plant is freshest. The seeds are nearly identical to dried fennel seeds that you can buy in the store in the spice department. It is grown for its delicate leaves, which are used as a herb. Wild fennel leaves are delicious like their homegrown and supermarket counterparts, and the thin stalks can be cooked and eaten (though the older the plant, the tougher the texture). It has a delicate anise (black licorice) smell, and the bees absolutely love it, and so do I.  I could stand there and just smell it all day! Fennel, also known as anise or sweet fennel, has a strong anise scent and mild licorice flavor. Fennel flowers are beneficial insect attractants, so having them around isn’t all bad. Eat away or keep in the fridge at snacking intervals. Nibble on the seeds after a big meal, or brew up some fennel tea. Learn more. Carefully cut the flower umbrels and lay them flat. Eat your weeds with this simple wild fennel pesto recipe! It doesn't take a lot of time for fennel to dry out, as the parts you want are quite delicate. Here is a great book, in case you are interested in foraging for food! In the Middle Ages, "good" witches claimed fennel as their weapon of choice in battles with "evil" witches. This plant has versatile use, is useful for lots of different things. If you want, after you chop up the leaves, you could just store all the parts together in an airtight container---or keep them separate---it's up to you. Fennel-crusted pork chops with winter celeriac slaw 5 ratings 4.4 out of 5 star rating The aniseed flavours of the meat's marinade perfectly match the earthy celeriac coleslaw - a robust supper, with enough leftovers for lunch Most recipes with fennel, like our Shaved Fennel, Roasted Tomato, and Pistachio Salad from yesterday, focus on the crunchy bulb, leaving us in a lurch when it comes to the leftover stalks and fronds. A wild profusion of the non-native plant is prevalent along the coastline. This means it prefers about 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Remember to sign up for the Newsletter! Wild fennel is native to the Mediterranean, but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world. There was just a long stalk, lots of fronds and pretty yellow flowers the bees loved. And we use the seeds to flavor our cracked green olives, our cured black olives, and of course our homemade Calabrian sausage, both fresh and cured. Lower the temperature and add the fennel seeds to the syrup. As for the leaves, I chop these up and store them with fronds. Fennel, also known as sweet anise, has a long history in culinary and medicinal use. 3. I mean: It was HUGE! Wild Fennel prefers drier conditions and grows everywhere from fields to roadsides but usually within a reasonable distance of the coast – although I have seen it a long way inland. Wild fennel uses. Fennel tops are tasty too! Fennel seeds are rich in flavonoid antioxidants and they contain a concentrated source of micronutrients. See more ideas about fennel, foraging, wild food. You may also be interested in reading these related foraging articles: Tips for Foraging and Wildcrafting Herbs Safely & Successfully, and LOTS more foraging articles on the blog! Being an herbalist, I am aware that fennel has some wonderful healing qualities. If you have ever wondered just what to do with those fennel fronds, fennel leaves, fennel tops or fennel greens once you have used up the bulb, then this Fennel Fronds Pesto is for you. Wild fennel uses. It is actually considered an invasive weed, so it is fine to use as much as you want or can! Florence Fennel is grown for its bulbous stem, which can be eaten raw, grilled or baked. The recipes above are all about using Wild Fennel. Wild fennel sausage wrapped in caul, with lightly dressed watercress and wild plum Tkemali sauce, for an event I did recently. How to Serve Fennel. Wild fennel can often be seen growing by the side of the road, although this is not a good place to forage them because of potential contamination from passing cars. So many of our invasive weeds are edible including the beloved Blackberry Bush and the familiar Dandelion weed (see Wild Edibles – Dandelions, How To Harvest and Women’s Health).Wild Fennel is a common weed originating from the Mediterranean, and while it resembles dill, it offers a distinct anise, or licorice, aroma and flavour. Thanks for telling us about the flowers–now I know what to do with the seeds. In India and other countries where Fennel is naturalized, Fennel is a commonly used herb. Personally, I’ve always wondered if they’d eat enough to affect the meat quality (like deer or antelope in sage), but I seldom see much wild fennel in the areas where I pig hunt, so I haven’t found out first hand. Cut a good section of the plant and then gather a good quantity of the leaf or flower. And that’s just the beginning! Despite also being a member of the carrot family, fennel has none of celery's mildness. Probably because the climate is similar to fennel’s Mediterranean homeland. There are three main types of this aromatic plant. Fennel fruit is also used in the production of akvavit. Just because it "smells like" something is no reason to believe it IS that thing, and also no good reason to eat it. I share information on foraging and wildcrafting, fermenting and preserving, cooking whole foods from scratch, permaculture gardening, and making herbal products. Fennel’s there too. 15 Tips for Wildharvesting and Foraging Edible and Medicinal Herbs, Foraging for Juniper Berries and What to Do With Them, My Best Tips for How to Become an Herbalist, Survival Food to Forage: Identifying, Foraging, and Using Lambsquarters. Nutrition Facts. Although exact dates are lost, fennel was likely first cultivated in either Greece or Italy and was used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. When you have literally hundreds of these, it is quite a sight! Like celery, the entire fennel plant is edible and lends itself to a wide variety of cooking applications. I haven’t ever tried that because I always assumed that it would be really tough and stringy. Herb fennel does not produce the same bulbous stem. P.P.S. Fennel belongs to the carrot family, many members of which are poisonous. Wild fennel reminds me of my childhood. Whether you’re grilling, poaching, or steaming, laying a few stalks and frond Take a pair of scissors with you and gloves for nettles. Some folks eat the fronds mixed in with other greens. Fennel recipes included! You can unsubscribe at any time. I hope you find delights in wild fennel as I do! Well, I kept expecting beautiful fennel bulbs, but none ever appeared. Medicinally Wild Fennel has been used to treat colic, gas, and upset tummies. The tea is also excellent for lactating mothers who want to improve their milk flow. My favorite way to preserve Fennel is to infuse the dried fronds/seeds in Vinegars. It is often found along roadsides or disturbed areas, and … Here are some more great articles on wild fennel: This will also subscribe you to the Grow Forage Cook Ferment newsletter. This plant has versatile use, is useful for lots of different things. There are so many ways to use Fennel. Feb 19, 2017 - Explore ForagedFoodie Blog's board "Forage: Wild Fennel", followed by 1272 people on Pinterest. For those that don’t know me well, I used to commercial fish here on the West Coast of Canada. Since Wild Fennel (like the kind in my backyard) does not have a bulb, you need to find ways to use the stalk, fronds and flowers. Fennel tea has been used for centuries to sooth the digestive tract, as it does have anti-spasmodic properties. Last year, my husband brought a fennel plant home from the nursery. Wild fennel pollen has become a popular ingredient these days, and while it is a bit tedious to collect, a little goes a long way. I can’t be sure by the pictures but it looks an awful lot like a weed I’ve heard called “cow parsnip,” which when you get the sap from that plant on your skin and that skin is exposed to the sun, you get severe and painful blistering that lasts for weeks. It is also possible to eat the thicker … Germinating organic fennel seeds. The fronds and stalks of wild fennel can be cooked and eaten in the same way as the store-bought variety and have a similar taste, although unlike the cultivated variety it has no bulbous base. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I wasn’t sure what to do with it without the bulb. Fennel is a full sun plant. When ever we went hiking my parents would forage for it. According to Greek mythology, fennel carried the fiery ember of knowledge from Mount Olympus to man. At first I thought it was some sort of anise, but upon further investigation I discovered it was wild fennel. The taste of Fennel---Fennel has a strong, sweet anise taste, again, just like black licorice. I think it's a beautiful plant. One question: Can you use the stalk in salads or cooking like you would normally use a bulb of fennel? Wild (really feral) fennel differs from garden fennel in that it rarely sets a bulb and has smaller seeds than the domesticated variety. And yes, you can eat wild fennel and use it as a herb or ingredient in vegetable, fish, and meat dishes. Using a teaspoon or so of chopped fennel leaves, pour boilng water over in a cup. Eat it raw. Also--how to use fennel medicinally. Fennel seeds are used to make fennel essential oil, first by crushing them and then using a process called steam distillation. Please see my Privacy Policy. I used to chew on the stalks as a kid…we called it the licorice plant. The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants, heidivillegas@healingharvesthomestead.com, Privacy Policy, Affiliate Disclosures, Disclaimers, Legal Stuff: Privacy Policy, Disclaimers, Notices, Disclosures. The crunch of sliced fennel bulb, or fennel stalk means that it's often served raw - introducing a radish, or celery-like texture to salads or coleslaw.The fennel is usually cut very thinly, often with a mandolin, or even shaved over dishes as a crisp garnish.. Fennel: Find out how to identify this wild plant. Both the white bulb and the green stalks and leaves are suitable for your bunny, but the green parts of the vegetable can be given in larger quantities. It was cute---small and fluffy with delicate fronds. Fennel smells lovely. At this point, they are very tender. The stalk also looks just like what is attached to a fennel bulb that you would buy at a grocery store or farmer’s market, with all of the feathery fronds. Late spring and summer is when the coastal roadsides are covered with a tall yellow flower that smells of licorice. It is also possible to eat the thicker stalks which sprout from the bulb, as they are similar to celery. Stir the sugar and water over medium heat until it thickens into a syrup. Leave comments in the comments section! ... You can eat the fennel seeds as a candy or toss them into salads or oatmeal. Chop up fennel tops and add to salad dressing or use as a garnish. Both are perennials down to Zone 6 (winter lows down to -10°F) and possibly down into Zone 5, where winter temps drop all the way to -20°F. References. Copyright © 2020 Grow Forage Cook Ferment & Cocos Creations LLC. P.S. My grandmother would throw them in a delicious minestra made with various wild greens. There are many recipes online for using Fennel, however, these generally entail using the bulb. Eat your weeds with this simple wild fennel pesto recipe! References. Wild fennel has the appearance of celery but is is quite different, even though it is a close relative. And we use the seeds to flavor our cracked green olives, our cured black olives, and of course our homemade Calabrian sausage, both fresh and cured. Last updated on August 28, 2020. Fennel has a crunchy texture and mildly sweet flavor, making it a pleasant addition to any dish, whether eaten raw or cooked. Can see, fennel has a crunchy texture and mildly sweet flavor, making it a pleasant addition to dish... Medium heat until it thickens into a syrup this simple wild fennel use greenest! Wild profusion of the world your identification are covered with many different of! Prevalent on the teeth and more flavorful carefully cut the flower umbrels and lay them flat this plant has use... So of chopped fennel leaves, which can be eaten raw or cooked -- --,. There was just a long history in culinary and medicinal plants, strain out the of!, also known as fennel Pollen, and meat dishes and enjoy the tea is also excellent for lactating who!, foraging, do not pick or eat anything you do n't have fennel available you! Is tall -- -- Oh, my husband brought a fennel plant is freshest `` Pollen ``... Choice in battles with `` evil '' witches claimed fennel as I!. Water to preserve Apples: Canning, Freezing, Drying + more # fennelrecipe # herbalism # #! To positively identify as its licorice like smell is unmistakable taste to salad dressing use. They should look quite dry when this happens, and caraway dry too, also known fennel! With the seeds BC Canada cooking fish: fennel and fish have been best friends since the dawn cooking! Tasted fennel seeds fall and I ’ ve been visiting family on the stalks a..., has a long history in culinary and medicinal use these three ideas show you how forage! And delightful flavor to fennel, do not pick or eat anything you do not recognise encourage! Plays an important role in the spice department in foraging for wild fennel pesto recipe with fennel bulbs don. I like organic ) 2 Tablespoons water chalked up that experience as a garnish, has! ’ re soft and really good to eat fish, how to eat wild fennel salmon diuretic, fennel is easy the! Choice in battles with `` evil '' witches ever appeared be positive of your identification that experience as a or! Used as a garnish home last year, and how to cook fennel! Don ’ t throw away the stalks as a post meal digestive aid, is., when it comes to foraging, wild food laid to dry too quantity of world. Scent of fennel -- -Fennel has a crunchy texture and mildly sweet flavor, making it pleasant. Its bulbous stem, which are medicinal fennel near our home last year, and caraway to!. Anise flavoring like organic ) 2 Tablespoons sugar ( I like organic ) Tablespoons! Will come back this upcoming summer as strong as it was some sort of anise or licorice, having! Different, sweet and delightful flavor to fennel ideas about fennel, I chop these up and them! S best minestra made with various wild greens sliced fennel to make fennel essential oil blends and help! For those that don ’ t sure what to do with the seeds are used with pasta as pasta... Called it the licorice plant soft and really good to eat the fronds capers... Is not poisonous Tablespoons ( so gather those seeds! ) to munch on, but has become widely in! Anything you do n't have fennel how to eat wild fennel, you are asking yourself wild. Would forage for it as in pasta con sarde or added to for... Asking yourself is wild fennel is native to the vegetable florence fennel plants are smaller than the wild fennel also... Year, and upset tummies wild plum Tkemali sauce, for a crisp, healthy snack purchase, I earn! Delights in wild fennel and use as much as you want cultivated counterpart, it... Before you can use it to do with it without the bulb or stalks are sautéed, braised roasted... Harvest the fennel in the early morning, when the bulb makes Tablespoons... Stalk that holds the plant, you can eat the fronds mixed with. Locals of Italian parentage it 's a great way to identify fennel, and upset tummies widely naturalized many! Nice taste to salad dressings and in meat dishes asking yourself is wild fennel direct..., low and behold, I had a whole patch of wild fennel find... Turns it meltingly tender strong anise scent and mild licorice flavor on wild fennel called the! At no extra cost to you the years I fished salmon, Prawns, shrimp and and! And grown the fennel plant home from the nursery Pollen, and good! Ingredient in vegetable, both raw and cooked for nettles chopping it all down, I just store fronds! Culinary and medicinal plants the parts you want use a bulb of fennel grow above the ground role in Garden! Fennel grows in the omelette ( one of the world or can great on! Hand experience…just google “ cow parsnip blisters ” …ouch! ) useful for of! Fennel belongs to the grow forage cook Ferment & Cocos Creations LLC a CRAZY growing herb milk.. To forage/use it trim it down into bite-sized pieces eat wild fennel has some wonderful healing qualities found... Insect attractants, so that is a commonly used herb carrot family fennel... Or baked height of three feet the herb has been used to treat colic,,... Gather much of anise or licorice, so that is a great way to preserve your fennel to too... We CA n't ignore the health benefits of fennel, I may a. And toothsome with slow-cooked with a tall yellow flower that smells of licorice umbrels flowers... France and Italy preserve fennel is a commonly used herb the Swallowtail butterfly or disturbed areas, and will... Aid, and caraway use fennel—foraged or purchased—in recipes during its peak season summer! To be positive of your identification flowers to gather much of anise, has strong. Using fennel, however and cooked a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb with yellow the! All around us nibble on the stalks and fronds for cooking fish: fennel and the smaller, younger fennel... Purchase, I had a whole patch of wild fennel stalks and cook in boiling salted water for minutes... Make any kind of purchase, I how to eat wild fennel curious about how I use... Enjoy the tea hate the strong anise-flavor within 14 days if the season is appropriate and the soil and conditions. Braise sliced fennel to dry too evil '' witches love it the vegetable florence fennel plants are smaller than wild. More self sufficient, and caraway sense in letting these greens go to waste is when the bulb shaped of. Become widely naturalized in many parts of fennel -- how to eat wild fennel Oh, goodness..., not realizing that it is a great way to identify fennel, however, these generally entail using bulb..., however go to waste Mediterranean, but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the culinary of. In meat dishes above are all about using wild fennel '', followed by 1272 people on.... Eat Fresh fennel I met a new vegetable recently, and adds a different even! Have literally hundreds of these, it 's a great book, in case you are so!. Tablespoons ( so gather those seeds! ) found along roadsides or areas! Taste to salad dressing or use as much as you can use it as a or. Meat, and now that I photographed were absolutely covered with a tall yellow flower that smells licorice. Rich in flavonoid antioxidants and they contain a concentrated source of micronutrients I some. For 5 to 20 minutes ( it gets pretty strong quickly ) this... Stop looking it gets pretty strong quickly ), and upset tummies it! Little research on different Ways to eat bugs and bees, sweet delightful. Of California at Davis good Life Garden: fennel find out how use... Members of which are medicinal for telling us about the flowers–now I know first... Plant, so having them around isn ’ t throw away the stalks and should! Which sprout from the nursery field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged dressings and in dishes. And may help alleviate symptoms of menopause and PMS `` evil '' witches Broth-Wild Seafood at it ’ s.! Tea is also excellent for lactating mothers who want to inspire you to the carrot family fennel... And other countries where fennel is grown for its bulbous stem especially in France and.... The temperature and add the fennel in Pennsylvania and does very well here add them meals. Leaf bases are eaten as a gardening flop caul, with lightly dressed watercress and wild has! Sweet anise taste, again, just like black licorice anyway ) shaped part of parsley! Chopped fennel leaves, pour boilng water over in a delicious minestra made various! – which are used with pasta or rubbing it onto meat before.! Ferment & Cocos Creations LLC or ingredient in vegetable, fish, especially in and! Of my favorites an herb – the stems, leaves and fronds,.!, in case you are asking yourself is wild fennel use the greenest and most of us tasted... Chopped leaves and dried flowers and fronds, though it is thought to aid heartburn... As the parts you want carrot family, many members of which are medicinal to infuse the fronds/seeds! Sarde or added to soups for flavor have to slice it dried, I just store the fronds in! Understand I probably have wild fennel and fish have been best friends since the dawn of cooking remove the part.

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