The fennel plant is used as an herb, vegetable and spice for a wide range of dishes. The plant, with a white thick base and green narrow stalk, dates back to ancient Greece and is high in vitamin C and potassium. You can prepare this mildly anise-flavored bulb at home for use in salads and stew dishes or even eat it raw. Raw fennel has a much stronger anise flavor than cooked fennel.
Select a fennel bulb that has bright green foliage and a firm white bulb. The fennel should be sturdy with no blemishes. Fennel will keep in a refrigerator for three to five days.
Remove the bulb from the stalk before using it. Use a sharp knife to cut the white base away at the point where it starts to turn green. Don't discard the stalk and foliage, though, as these can be used as a garnish or to add a slight onion flavor to dishes.
Slice the fennel bulb into quarters. Remove the inner core. Toss the outer bulb leaves if they are too tough for you. You can finely slice the rest of the leaves with the grain. Wash the pieces.
Eat raw fennel slices with fruit, salads or nuts. Add cooked fennel (either roasted, sauteed or grilled) to soup, stuffings, pizza, stews, meat dishes, baked seafood and vegetable medleys. It is easily cooked by tossing it in olive oil and salt and roasting in an oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes.