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What to Do with Fennel Stalks & Fronds

by Laura Giannatempo

fromFine Cooking
Issue 90

When you buy fennel, it often comes with its stalks and dill-like fronds attached. However, most recipes call for fennel bulbs only. This doesn’t mean you have to throw the stalks and fronds away, though.

I like to add fennel stalks to a vegetable broth, especially if I plan to use the broth in a fennel dish—they lend quite a bit of anise flavor. The stalks also freeze well in plastic bags for later use.

You can use the mildly anise-flavored fronds as you would a fresh herb in several ways:

  • In salads, especially if the salad contains fennel
  • Tucked in the cavity of roasted chicken or whole fish, alone or with other aromatics
  • Chopped and added to marinades for fish or meat, along with garlic and other herbs
  • Added to chunky vegetable soups during the last minutes of simmering
  • As a bed for roasting swordfish or halibut fillets (both fronds and stalks)

Photos: Scott Phillips

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