This page talks about fennel bulb recipe.
Native to the Mediterranean, Fennel is a short-lived perennial herb that can grow to a height of 6 feet. Due to its height, it makes a great background plant for your garden. Its flowers attract useful garden insects. Throughout the centuries, fennel has been used for a variety of reasons. The Romans believed that fennel kept Roman soldiers healthy, women from becoming obese and improved eyesight. Today, fennel is eaten after a meal in many countries to aid digestion.
Fennel can be propagated from either seeds or through division. It’s easiest to grow from seeds though, as its long taproot can make division tricky. Soak seeds in water 4 to 5 days prior to planting to improve germination rates. Choose a sunny part of your garden, at the back of a bed. Avoid planting near dill, as cross-pollination will produce undesirable results. Plant seeds 1/8 inch deep in soil. Seeds should germinate within 7 to 14 days of planting.
When plants are 4 to 6 inches tall, thin out crop so that there is at least 12 to 18 inches between each plant. As your plants begin to develop, cut them back to encourage bushier growth. Fennel is ready to harvest within 80 to 90 days of planting.
If you wish to propagate your plants through division, do so in fall. Be sure to dig up the entire collection of roots. Gently separate roots. Replant immediately. Press soil firmly around plant and water thoroughly to prevent drying.
Once fennel has been well established, it doesn’t need much care. Fertilize from time to time with your favorite herb fertilizer. Water more generously in areas that are hot and dry. Cut your fennel plant back to the ground after a frost.
Be sure to harvest the bulbs before the plants go to seeds for the best flavor. They should be roughly the size of a tennis ball. The bulbs can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Deadhead some of the plants for seed harvest, as well as prevent over seeding. Dry seeds and store in an airtight container.
Fennel stalks can be eaten as a vegetable, while the leaves and seeds are used to flavor a variety of foods. Fennel can be used to add depth to sausage, curries, soups, pasta dishes, breads, salads and pork.
Here’s a popular baked fennel recipe:
2 fennel bulbs
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup half and half cream
¾ cup crème fraiche
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut excess leaves and stalk off the base of the bulb. Carve out the core. (The core will be lighter in color than the surround part.) Cut fennel bulbs vertically into pieces that are ¼ inch thick.
Fry fennel with melted butter over medium heat for five minutes. Mix in cream and crème fraiche until well-blended. Transfer entire contents of pan to a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until fennel is golden brown and tender.
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