So yes, I consider fennel to be a new friend. And I made a new friend at Sprouts while looking at fennel. Recently a former colleague of mine received some fennel from her Bountiful Basket veggie coop. Since her family has no desire to be friends with fennel she offered it to me. My only knowledge of fennel up to this point was the strong licorice flavor found in the seeds, which I found in my sausage, on pizza! I decided to give this interesting looking veggie a try. And as it turns out I’m glad I did. It has a sweet flavor when roasted and only the mildest hint of licorice in flavor. I’m not sure I would have even noticed it had I not been expecting it to taste like that.
In the process of buying one to roast again (I had forgotten to take pictures of the first one for a blog post) a lady asked me what I planned to do with it. After answering her question, she proceeded to tell me what could be done with the greens on the stalk. It was hard for me to understand her as she had a very distinctive accent that did not originate in the U.S! Accents are not easy for me, as well as lyrics on the radio, or any number of other situations, but after several attempts on several words we were able to share information. It turns out that she and her family immigrated from Persia (Iran) many years ago as it was dangerous not to be Muslim. She continued to share food ideas with me that were Persian in origin. We went off to do our own shopping after a time, but I felt I would enjoy knowing her more. As we passed again, I quickly copied my name and number down for her, leaving it up to her to contact me, if she didn’t think it too odd for just meeting someone in the grocery store! (My daughter used to think it very strange that I would strike up a conversation with someone knowing that I would most likely never see them again!) She in turn shared her name and number and hopefully we’ll meet soon. I’m still not sure why I did that, but I felt very prompted to do so. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to minister or just connect with another person that God loves.
But back to my new friend fennel! I was already aware of the digestion benefits of fennel, but there are many others as well. This article lists these qualities: rich in vitamins A, B, and C as well as many minerals, good for anemia, breast milk secretion, helpful for conditions such as cancer, colic, constipation, diarrhea, hair health, high blood pressure, indigestion, menstrual disorders, and vision health. If you like to juice fennel is a good vegetable to add.
Fennel is a bit on the pricey side, but I think the benefits make it worth adding to the menu occasionally. At least try it and see what you think.
- Fennel bulbs
- Olive oil
- Slice the stalk and root ends off the fennel.
- Slice in half, stalk end to root end and lay on the cut edge.
- Slice each half into several wedges and arrange on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
- Place in 375 degree oven and roast until tender and starting to brown a bit.