Fennel with frond recipes

Fennel is a wonderfully aromatic vegetable, its peak supply is during winter and early spring  Fennel is indispensable in many Italian dishes such as risotto, or simply braised in some chicken stock to make a tasty side dish.

It can also be eaten raw in a salad, provided you like the aniseed flavour (which is reduced to just a faint taste during the cooking process). The frond can be used to flavour salad dressing, soup stock or as garnish.


Braised fennel
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
  • 1 bulb of Fennel
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 – 2 chillies, chopped (take out seeds unless you like extra hot)
  1. Cut off the stalks flush with the tops of the bulbs. (Reserve the stalks for vegetable soup or boil and mash them along with potatoes. Save the leaves to flavour soups.) Turn the bulb cut side down and cut them into quarters through the cores. Remove the tough outer layers from the pieces, then cut out the cores. Slice the pieces crosswise into 4cm strips.
  2. Heat the butter in a medium frypan over medium heat until foaming. Scatter the fennel pieces and chillies over the butter, season them lightly with salt and pepper and cook, tossing and stirring, until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat so the stock is simmering. Cover the pan and cook until the fennel is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. During the last few minutes, remove the lid from pan so about half the liquid evaporates.
  5. If you’d like to serve the fennel ‘dry’ and lightly caramelized, continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled off the fennel is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.


Fennel Risotto
Recipe Type: Risotto
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved
  • 100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 300g Arborio rice (Harvest Hub)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 70g grated parmesan cheese
  • lemon, zested
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Wash then finely slice the fennel. Put aside.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to the boil, keep at a slow simmer.
  3. Put the butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter. Add the white wine and cook for 30 seconds. Start adding chicken stock, a ladle at a time. Increase the heat to medium while constantly stirring the rice. Add more stock ladle by ladle, as it will be absorbed by the rice. Cook for approximately eight minutes then add the shaved fennel and mushrooms. Keep stirring and adding stock until the rice is ‘al dente’ for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the grated parmesan, ensure the rice is not stodgy (add a little more stock if it is). Season to taste and serve immediately


Creamy sweet potato and fennel soup with parmesan wafers
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g fennel, chopped
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup sour cream, for serving
  • [b]For the Parmesan wafers:[/b]
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven 200C.
  2. Heat butter in a large heavy-based saucepan, add onion and garlic, cook until softened. Add fennel, sweet potato and stock, simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until very tender.
  3. Puree mixture until smooth, add milk and cheese. Season to taste. Heat gently without boiling. Adjust consistency with extra milk if required.
  4. [b]To make parmesan wafers:[/b]
  5. In a bowl combine all ingredients and drop tablespoonfuls onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes until golden and bubbling. Allow to cool 5 minutes until crisp.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and dollop with sour cream. Serve with parmesan wafers.