Fennel not only contains many valuable vitamins and is low in calories, but also tastes wonderfully delicious. In combination with your favorite vegetables and melt-in-the-mouth cheese, you get a tasty casserole. Try our recipes for gratinated fennel.
Fennel: healthy and tasty
Fennel varieties and their origin
Fennel can be divided into three types: There is the so-called vegetable fennel or onion fennel, the sweet or spice fennel and the wild fennel. The latter retains a more intense aroma and is offered at markets in Italy in spring, for example. In Germany, the vegetable fennel is more popular - the mild taste and the larger tuber are more popular in this country. Mainly tea seeds are obtained from spiced fennel.
Fennel is mainly grown in southern Italy, Spain and France. In the meantime the plant is also cultivated in warmer parts of Germany.
Storage, shelf life and season of fennel
Fennel is in season from June to October. You can keep the vegetables both in the refrigerator and in the basement. However, it is important to process the fennel as quickly as possible, as it can become dry and woody after a few days. The fennel also loses its aroma. If you want to keep the fennel in the refrigerator, it is best to wrap it in some cling film or, alternatively, spray it with water and wrap it in some kitchen paper. Then off to the vegetable drawer. This will keep the fennel fresh for about a week.
If it is stored in the cellar, the green of the fennel must first be removed. Place the tubers in a box with moistened sand to keep them from drying out. This is how the fennel will keep for several weeks.
What do you have to consider when cooking fennel?
You can cook, fry, bake or eat fennel raw - the inner white core is not only suitable for this, it is also particularly aromatic. As a raw food, fennel is very healthy, which is why you should also try the tuber in a salad. The lovely aniseed taste goes well with many dishes such as fish or tastes good in curries with rice or chickpeas and salads. When shopping, the fennel bulb should look plump and undamaged. Make sure that it has no brown spots and that the fennel green also looks fresh. First the tuber is washed, the greens cut off and set aside, then the stalk is removed. You can halve and / or quarter the tuber and cut it into very fine strips. Tip:Because of the fenchon it contains, fennel tastes a little bitter. The anethold also contained, however, sets a sweet counterweight. The vegetables taste much milder when you steam them.
Fennel is that healthy
With 19 kcal / 100 g, fennel is a low-calorie vegetable. It is well known that essential oils such as menthol, anethole and fenchone support the stomach and digestion. But the tuber has even more to offer: it contains nutrients and significant amounts of vitamins A, K, E, folic acid and beta-carotene. It also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Like cabbage , fennel also has a high proportion of vitamin C: Fennel puts oranges in the shade with almost twice as much vitamin C. In addition: Just 100 grams of the tuber already cover a quarter of an adult's daily iron requirement.
Recipe: gratinated fennel
Ingredients (for 4 people) :
- 4 bulbs of fennel
- 1 carrot or zucchini and a potato (or other vegetable of your choice)
- Vegetable broth
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 large scoop of mozzarella
- Planed parmesan
- 2-3 tbsp cream
- salt and pepper
Preparation of gratinated fennel
First pluck the hard leaves on the outer edge of the fennel bulbs, remove the stalk and then pluck them into small leaves.
Tip: When preparing fennel, first cut off the top ends with the fennel green. You can keep this and then add it to your dish, finely chopped. Remove the fennel stalk; it cannot be used.
- Boil the vegetable stock in water and add the fennel. Let it cook for a few minutes until it is firm to the bite and add the carrot or zucchini just before it is done . Of course, you can also leave out other vegetables and only enjoy the fennel. In the meantime, cut the mozzarella into fine slices.
- Now put the vegetables in a baking dish and add a little of the broth. Sprinkle the whole thing with freshly ground pepper. You can also use salt if necessary, but be careful as the vegetable stock casserole already contains enough salt for most tastes.
- Now put the cream on the vegetables and place the mozzarella slices on top. Finally, spread the garlic clove on top with a press and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
- Put the casserole in the oven at 200 degrees and let it bake until the cheese is browned to your liking.
Our tip : This recipe can be served great as a starter, we recommend fresh baguette with it. Serve as a main course with a fresh salad - and of course the casserole is also a great side dish with meat or fish. Good Appetite!
Which spices go well with fennel?
Curry or nutmeg, for example, taste delicious with the tuber. Sage, parsley or thyme also go well with fennel.
If this recipe convinces you and you are a fan of the healthy fennel bulb anyway, then try our numerous other fennel recipes. From chicken breast for our meat fans to poached rays for our fish lovers to a delicious potato and fennel puree - everything is included - so let's get to the saucepans !
Would you like to find out more about the beneficial effects of fennel? Then we recommend this book to you!