How to prep fennel
Florence fennel, the bulbous variety found in most American stores has a subtle anise (mild licorice) flavor and delicate celery texture. The bulbs are often sold with the feathery fronds lopped off. Get the ones with some fronds attached if you can -- they’re the perfect raw finish to a fennel dish, sprinkled on as a bright green top layer to echo the anise flavor.
You can thinly slice fennel crosswise for sautés, pastas, and salads, or cut it into wedges lengthwise to roast, braise, or gratinee.
First, rinse the bulb and fronds well and pat them dry. Cut off the the stalks close to the bulb.
If you want to remove some of the slightly stringy outer layer, peel bulb with a vegetable peeler.
To slice for salads or quick cooking, just cut across the bulb as thick or thin as you like.
For longer cooking methods like braising and roasting, cut the bulb lengthwise into wedges of any size. Slice through the core, leaving some of it attached to each wedge to help keep the wedges together. The core will become tender with cooking.
If you want to cook wedges briefly, like on a grill, it's best to remove the core. Cut the bulb into wedges lengthwise, then sliced down along the core at an angle. Then just slice the quarters crosswise to any thickness.
Now that you know how to prep fennel, try cooking it - there are lots of fennel recipes at Cookthink.com.