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What’s In Season – September – Fennel

Shopping Basket – Create These Dishes

Slow Roasted Fennel

  • Fennel – 898
  • Cherry vine tomatoes (3KG) – 2644

Raw Fennel and Steak Salad

  • Fennel – 898
  • Globe artichoke – 360
  • Cos lettuce – 1302
  • Wholegrain mustard (5KG) – 8534
  • Micro fennel – 23084
  • Pine nuts – 8622

Caramelized Fennel, Fig and Goat’s Cheese Pizza

  • Frozen pizza base if not making from scratch (9”) – 4040
  • Goats cheese – Range
  • Fennel – 898
  • Brazilian figs – 907

Despite being one of the most popular ingredients in Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cooking, fennel is a very underutilised vegetable here in the U.K. From its hollow stem to its rooted bulb – the entire thing is edible and it’s unique but not overpowering aniseed flavour lends itself well to many dishes.

Find out more about the fennel including its origins, methods of preparation, best times to buy and stunning recipes you can create with it in our latest blog post.

Origins of Fennel

First being documented in Roman times, fennel has a long and colourful history with a number of different uses.

The Anglo-Saxons held it sacred, with their emperor declaring it a staple in any garden due to healing properties, in England in the 1200’s, it was used as an appetite suppressant for those fasting, it was even placed on doors in some Western cultures to ward off evil spirits – not bad for a vegetable we think.

Fennel and Lemon

Methods of Preparing Fennel

There are a number of ways in which you can prepare fennel, it also lends itself well to salads raw.

Usually, only the bulb (the white part) is cooked, with the green stalks being saved as a garnish or for a side salad. When cooking fennel, the final taste is a lot more mellow than when prepared and eaten raw.

Pan Fry – One sliced, fennel can be pan-fried in a shallow pan on a high heat. This method takes around 10 minutes and will result in soft, golden brown fennel slices.

Roasting – Roasting is the traditional method for preparing fennel wedges, a popular snack in Italy. Season fennel and drizzle with olive oil before roasting at around 200c – this will take around 30 minutes dependant on the size of your slices, you should flip the fennel over halfway through.

Steam – Steaming fennel locks in the maximum amount of its unique anise flavour – simply steam for 8 to 10 minutes and season to taste.

Boil – Boiling fennel takes around 20 minutes for a whole head, or 10 – 12 minutes for fennel slices.

Fennel Family

When’s the Best Time to Buy Fennel?

Thanks to its popularity around the world, fennel is generally available to buy all year round. British fennel season runs from early June to late September, so you’ll likely find it cheaper and more available in shops and at markets throughout that time.

Fennel Roots

Our Favourite Fennel Recipes

Slow Roasted Fennel

Simple and beautiful, this dish works perfectly as an accompaniment to main meals, it may also be served as part of a meze or brunch board.

  1. Preheat oven to 165c.
  2. Clean, trim and cut fennel bulbs then lay in a roasting dish (use tinfoil to lock in all the flavour).
  3. Add cherry tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Cook for 50 minutes or until fennel is soft and caramelised.

 

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Raw Fennel and Steak Salad

The raw crunch of fennel and the soft bite of hot steak work in harmony together to create this exotic salad worthy of a place on any menu.

  1. Prepare your fennel by shaving the bulb, combine with artichoke hearts and cos lettuce – toss well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, salt and pepper. Add the majority of this mixture to your salad.
  3. Season your steaks and fry off for 2 – 3 minutes per side dependant on thickness.
  4. Slice your steaks into strips and add to your salad mix.
  5. Top with sliced fennel stalks and pine nuts, micro fennel and the rest of your sauce and serve.

This salad also lends itself well to many other dishes, why not try it with hot smoked salmon and Greek-style yoghurt or as an alternative to coleslaw with hotdogs and burgers?

 

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Caramelized Fennel, Fig and Goat’s Cheese Pizza

When we wrote our recent blog on usual yet delicious pizza toppings, we missed a trick with this Mediterranean style pizza. To create this dish:

  1. Use goats’ cheese instead of mozzarella or cheddar when creating your pizza.
  2. Prepare your fennel and cut into thin slices, brush with olive oil.
  3. Cook at around 200c for 25 minutes or until softened – flip over halfway through.
  4. Once your pizza is ready, top with the fennel, warm sliced figs and crumble some more goats’ cheese on top.

Wholesale Fennel from Arthur David

At Arthur David, fennel is just one of the high-quality vegetables we provide to our customers on a daily basis. In addition to our traditional Italian fennel, we hold stock to delicious micro fennel grown right here in the UK.

For more information about our fennel or any of our other products, give us a call today on 0330 333 4441 or use the live chat to discuss your requirements with one of our expert team.

Fennel And Lemon
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