Fennel

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.

Availability

Limited quantities in autumn and winter.

Store

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.

Cooking Methods

Boil, steam, microwave, roast, grill, bake, braise, stew.

Nutrition

FENNEL
Bulb, raw
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup sliced - 87g
  Average
Quantity
per serving 
% Daily
intake per
serve 
Average
Quantity
per 100g 
 
Energy (kJ/Cal) 112/27 1% 129/31  
Protein (g) 1.1 2% 1.2  
Fat, total (g) 0.2 0.2% 0.2  
 - saturated (g) 0.08 0.3% 0.09  
Carbohydrate (g) 6.4 2% 7.3  
 - sugars (g) 3.4 4% 3.9  
Dietary fibre (g) 2.7 9% 3.1 Contains dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 45 2% 52  
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
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.
*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Data not available for fennel in New Zealand Food Compositon Tables

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.

Retailing

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.

Recipes

Fennel soup
Fennel soup

Fennel has a distinct aniseed flavour when raw, but when cooked, it tastes more like celery. View Recipe

Pork and fennel meatballs in tomato sauce
Pork and fennel meatballs in tomato sauce

The fennel adds a unique flavour to these meatballs. Roll the balls firmly before cooking. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

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