Fennel is a versatile vegetable with a mild licorice flavour and is delicious eaten raw or cooked. It is full of Vitamin B & C and folate, a range of minerals including potassium, iron and selenium and the bulb is a good source of insoluble fibre. Fennel leaves have an anise like fragrance and will add a delicate flavour to salads, soups and stews. The seeds, which can be ground, chewed or brewed whole, can be used to relieve indigestion, bloating and colic.
My cousin Greg and his wife recently returned to Australia after living in Italy for six months and were full of enthusiasm for Italian food. At a family gathering on a warm spring day, Greg brought along this delicious and refreshing Italian Fennel Salad, which is very quick and easy to make.
1 medium sized fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 fennel leaves, very finely chopped
1 green apple, thinly sliced
fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
2/3 cup of extra virgin oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Place dressing ingredients in a glass jar and mix thoroughly – let is sit for 15 minutes
Combine salad ingredients in a salad bowl
Before serving, drizzle dressing over salad to taste