Fennel, sometimes known as Florence fennel, has a long history and is one of the oldest cultivated plants.
Roman warriors used to eat fennel to keep them in good health while Roman women ate it to prevent obesity. Fennel has an aniseed flavour and aroma and is increasing in popularity. Fennel leaves can be used as a herb e.g. as a substitute for dill. Its flavours complement many vegetables, particularly courgettes, carrots, beans and cabbage.
What to look for
Select firm, plump, white bulbs with fresh feathery foliage. Small bulbs that are less than 12 cm in diameter are more tender.
Limited quantities in autumn and winter.
Refrigerate in the crisper and use as soon as possible after purchase.
How to prepare
Cut off the base and stalks, retain any foliage for garnish. Every part of the plant from the seed to the root is edible. If boiling, use as little water as possible to retain the flavour. Cook bulb whole or slice to grill or dice to add to stews and braises.
Ways to eat
Finely sliced, grated raw or cooked stems can be added to salads or sandwiches. Steam, microwave, stir fry or boil the bulb to serve as a side vegetable. Roast fennel in a little olive oil with garlic, lemon juice and sprinkling of brown sugar. Use sprigs for garnish.
Boil, steam, microwave, roast, grill, bake, braise, stew.
|Serving size: 1 cup sliced - 87g|
|Fat, total (g)||0.2||0.2%||0.2|
|- saturated (g)||0.08||0.3%||0.09|
|- sugars (g)||3.4||4%||3.9|
|Dietary fibre (g)||2.7||9%||3.1||Contains dietary fibre|
|Vitamin C (mg)||10.4||26% RDI*||12.0||A good source of vitamin C|
|Folate (µg)||23||12% RDI*||27||A source of folate|
|Potassium (mg)||360||414||Contains potassium|
|Calcium (mg)||42.6||5% RDI*||49|
|Iron (mg)||0.64||5% RDI*||0.73|
|Niacin (mg)||0.56||6% RDI*||0.64|
|Magnesium (mg)||14.8||5% RDI*||17|
|Riboflavin (mg)||0.03||2% RDI*||0.03|
|Zinc (mg)||0.17||1% RDI*||0.2|
|Thiamin (mg)||0.01||0.8% RDI*||0.01|
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Fennel is a good source of vitamin C and a source folate plus contains dietary fibre and potassium at levels of dietary significance. Only low levels of phenolic compounds are found in fennel.
Customers may not know how to use fennel so use the QR code on labels.
Store at 0ºC with 90-100% relative humidity.
Purchase fennel with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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