Fennel is widely available throughout the year, although the peak season is from fall through spring. It has a distinctive licorice-like fragrance and flavour, as well as distinctive fronds that look a lot like dill (even though they are different plants!). Fennel can be used in a variety of culinary applications. The strange-looking vegetable has feathery fronds that are joined to thin stalks that jut out of the bulbous base. Overall, the vegetable has an otherworldly appearance. Each component may be used in a variety of ways: the bulbs can be eaten raw, roasted, or pickled; the stalks can be used to flavour broths; and the fronds can be used in the same way as other fresh herbs. Continue reading to learn how to choose the best fennel and store it correctly so that you can make the most of this adaptable vegetable.
Where to purchase fennel and what to look for while doing so
When selecting fennel, seek for bulbs that are solid and white in color. If the stalks and fronds are still connected, the stalks need to have a smooth surface, and the fronds ought to be dark green and unwilted. Avoid purchasing fennel bulbs that have dark patches, as well as ones that are torn or broken.
Fennel: how to keep it stored
Fennel may be stored in the refrigerator for up to ten days if it is first wrapped in a paper towel or a kitchen towel and then placed in a bag. (Remove the stalks and fronds from the plant and store them in separate locations if they are linked to one another.) Don’t wash the fennel until just before you want to use it. This will prevent it from becoming bad.
Because it is largely made up of water, you should store fennel in the warmer sections of your refrigerator in order to retain its texture and taste. Warmer portions of your refrigerator include the top shelf, a drawer, or even the door of your refrigerator.
How to remove the fennel stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb while storing them
While you reach home, detach the stalks and fronds from the bulb if you were fortunate enough to acquire fennel with them still attached when you were shopping for it. You may display them in a beautiful manner by standing them vertically in a jar of water on the kitchen counter. You also have the option of wrapping them in plastic wrap and storing them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
You might also separate the leaves from the stalks and keep them in their own individual containers. Before placing the stalks in the refrigerator, loosely cover them in plastic wrap, and store the fronds in the same way that you would store herbs: wrapped in a moist paper towel and placed in an open plastic bag.
Fennel preparation for freezing
Are you curious about whether or not fresh fennel can be frozen? You certainly can, particularly the stalks and the leaves. The best method for storing them is to freeze the stalks and leaves together while keeping the bulb on its own in the freezer. Take care of the fronds like you would herbs if you want to freeze them on their own. This article will teach you how to freeze fresh herbs.
To keep the fronds attached to the stalks while they are frozen, just put the stalks in a plastic bag that is suitable for the freezer, push out as much air as you can, close the bag, and store it in your freezer for up to six months.
Although the bulb may be frozen, it is not recommended due to the high water content of the fennel, which is what gives it its characteristic crispness. Because the cell walls of the vegetable are ruptured when the water in the vegetable freezes, the vegetable loses both its texture and its taste. You may prevent this by first blanching the meat before you freeze it.
Pickling fennel is an excellent strategy to both preserve the vegetable and make it more usable later on. In addition to sugar and vinegar, the fresh dill and lemon zest in this delectable dish for Crispy Walleye with Pickled Fennel are the key ingredients to making pickled fennel that is really exceptional. Alternately, you might use this fast and straightforward method for pickling, which is suitable for a broad variety of vegetables and is seasoned with champagne vinegar, mustard, coriander seeds, and black pepper.
Fennel is an adaptable vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways and needs careful preparation and storage; the refrigerator is your best option in this regard. Fennel may be stored either as a complete head in the refrigerator or as its individual pieces, the bulb, stalks, and leaves. Remember that freezing involves some additional preparation on your part, but you can freeze any and all of the pieces.
You should start thinking about what you’re going to eat now that you know how to keep fennel fresh. You could give fennel a try in either the Salmon with Fennel and Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous, which is a delightful supper that only takes one pan, or in the Farfalle with Tuna, Lemon, and Fennel, which is a simple pasta dish.