A celery-like plant with a large white bulb and feathery leaves which resemble dill. Florence fennel (finocchio) is grown in the Mediterranean and in the US. The base and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. The fragrant greenery can be used as a garnish or snipped and used as a last-minute flavor enhancer. This type of fennel is often mislabeled "sweet anise," causing those who don't like the flavor of licorice to avoid it. However, the flavor is sweeter and more delicate than anise, and when cooked, becomes enven lighter. Common fennel is the variety from which fennel seeds come. Although common fennel is bulbless, its stems and greenery are used in the same ways as Florence fennel.

Season: October - July

How to select: Look for crisp, smooth white bulbs and unwilted leaves that are a fresh green..

How to store: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.

How to prepare: braise, raw, saute

Matches well with: butter, cabbage, celery root, coriander, cream, cucumbers, fish, fruit, garlic, lemon, olive oil, olives, onions, oranges, Parmesan cheese, Pernod, potatoes, sausages, seafood, sherry, thyme, tomatoes, vinaigrette

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