Fennel, which looks a lot like short, stubby celery, is an herb that tastes like anise. Fennel bulbs and stalks can be served raw or cooked and are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene. When shopping for fennel, look for bulbs that are white, with no discoloration or brown spots and stalks that are firm and crisp. Fennel is easy to prepare for addition to anything you are cooking.
Wash the fennel under cold, running water.
Slice the bottom from the root end of the bulb.
Cut the stalks off at the point where they meet the bulb.
Peel the tough, outer leaves from the bulb.
Place the bulb in a bowl of water to which you have added the juice of half a lemon. This will keep the fennel from discoloring until you cook it.
Drain the fennel and pat dry when you are ready to cook with it.