So you have this awesome recipe – and it calls for fennel. “Okay,” you say to yourself, “No problem. I am not sure I even know what fennel looks like, but how hard can it be.” And you are off to the grocery store. You get there and start purusing the produce section. Eventually you have to start skimming over those little signs they have to identify what all of the produce items are, but that are horribly difficult to actually match up with the specific produce item [good luck]. Finally. You spy what you can only hope is fennel and… it looks…weird. What the hell am I supposed to do with this? Well, friends, I am here to explain it to you. You. Are. Welcome.
First: lay the fennel bulb on its side and cut off the little rough spot on the very bottom.
Second: Taking a hold of the outer most green stalk, pull it off of the bulb and part of the bulb will come with it and taking all the dirt and grossness that goes along with it. As you can see in the picture below, the part of the bulb that came with the stalk covered almost the entire bulb. You may or may not need to take off 2 of these layers to totally remove the dirty outer layer. You can also take a peeler and peel off some dirt too if there is just a little left on the bulb after the first stalk is removed.
Third: Cut off the remaining stalks right at their base by the bulb. After you are done you be holding the actual fennel bulb. (Note: the greens are not edible, but they can be a nice garnish)
Fourth: Take your fennel bulb and cut it in half.
Fifth: Remove the core.
Sixth: From there, you can slice, dice, mince….whatever your heart desires (or your recipe calls for).
There you have it. There are so many cool salads and soups that call for fennel, it is really is an under-used ingredient (in my humble opinion). Also, now you can be that cool person who knows exactly what a fennel bulb looks like and how you are supposed to cut it up! (Okay – that might not make you cool).
Your job – go make up a cool recipe that (like this one) that incorporates fennel 🙂 Aaaaand go.