Fennel is mostly used in Italy, but it is also common in France. Fennel is a vegetable that has a root, bulb, stalk and fronds (leaves). It has a similar taste to that of liquorice or black jelly beans. There are many ways to cook and season fennel. Fennel can be eaten as a side with or without seasonings. Also, you can add it to salads or other dishes. It is important to select fresh fennel and prepare and clean it the correct way.
Select fresh fennel. Avoid fennel that is dry or cracking. Also, the bulbs should be little and white.
Remove the leaf part of the fennel and throw it away.
Remove the bulb from the fennel and cut the bulb in half. Then, cut out the core and throw it away.
Cut off the root parts of the fennel.
Slice the fennel into pieces. You can cut it horizontally or side to side into half-inch pieces or you can cut it from the top to bottom (vertically).
Put about a tablespoon of oil into a saucepan if you are planning on having sautéed fennel. Also, you may want to add butter and other spices to suit your taste. Add the fennel and cook at about medium to medium high heat until all sides of the fennel are golden brown .
Add about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water per pound of fennel to a small saucepan or skillet. Set the stove to medium heat and boil the fennel for about 6 minutes. Then, place a lid over the fennel and set the stove to low heat. Continue to simmer the fennel for 15 minutes. Then, the fennel is ready to eat and you can season to taste.
Place the fennel in a basket and place the basket over boiling water. Then, put a lid over the basket and steam the fennel for about 8 to 15 minutes or until the fennel is soft or tender. Remove the fennel and season to taste.