Mariquita Farm


fennel fennel fennel orange salad
fennel orange salad, recipe below
fennel from the farm  

Recipes A-Z from our farm || Our CSA || Photo Gallery

Fennel Storage: store in a plastic bag in the fridge. If space is a problem, remove the long fronds to store just the fennel bulb.

Fennel: popular as a vegetable in Italy, it can be thinly sliced and eaten plain or as part of a vegetable platter. It is often served with just salt and olive oil as a simple appetizer or salad course. It can be chopped up into salad as celery, and indeed used almost anywhere celery is used. I once saw it added to chili -it was delicious. It was a popular herb in the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans. A recipe from Columella, a Spaniard who served in the Roman army in Syria in AD 60: "Mix fennel with toasted sesame, anise, and cumin then mix that with pureed dried fig and wrap in fig leaves and then store in jars to preserve." (From Spencers The Vegetable Book)

Fennel is high is vitamins A and E, calcium and potassium. Fennel and ginger make a good digestive tea. (Steep the fresh leaves with a bit of sliced ginger for 5 minutes in boiling water.)

Radish and Fennel Pickle Photo Essay by Julia

Shaved Fennel and Pistachio Salad
adapted from Makes: 4 to 6 servings

3 medium heads fennel, very thinly sliced crosswise about 7 cups
1/2 cup roasted & salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in a large glass or ceramic bowl and toss until fennel is coated. Season well w/ S & P. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Fennel and Cheese for Dessert adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook by M. Morash

Fennel bulbs
One great cheese, such as blue cheese or a local goat cheese
best olive oil
S & P

Wash and trim fennel bulbs. If small, cut in half; quarter larger ones. Serve with slices of cheese and pass the oil, salt, and pepper.

Cannelini Beans with Tarragon and Roasted Fennel || from Chef Jonathan Miller
I make some variation on this very often, as it can be made year round here. Some of you may recognize the flavor combination here from very similar recipes I've posted before in the Ladybug Postcard. I also made a version of this salad with raw fennel and grilled radicchio quarters and it worked very well. Kids love this bean salad because of its licorice overtones and the cheese.

1 c cannelini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch tarragon, chopped
1/2 t fennel seeds, ground
4 T sherry vinegar
4 t Dijon
6 T creme fraiche
12 T olive oil
4 T parsley, chopped
8 oz Italian fontina, diced

Drain the beans and put into a pot with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim any foam off the top, then lower the heat, add a generous amount of salt the pot, cover, and simmer slowly until the beans are soft, but not mushy, about 45-60 minutes. Drain.

While the beans cook, heat the oven to 400 and toss the sliced fennel with some olive oil and salt. Roast until colored and softened, and sweet, about 25-30 minutes.

Combine 2 T of the chopped tarragon, the fennel seeds, sherry vinegar, Dijon, and creme fraiche in a bowl. Whisk well. Add the olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.

When the beans are cooked and drained, fold in the dressing, mixing thoroughly, but gently. Stir in the roasted fennel, the parsley, the cheese, and the remaining chopped tarragon. Taste to make sure you like it, and serve room temperature.

Fennel, Orange & Caper Salad
Note from Julia: I made this and it's REALLY good. It's pictured above. In the photo, I used kalamata olives instead of the capers.

2 bulbs fennel
1 Tablespoon cabers, drained
1 Tablespoon dill or chervil, fresh, chopped
1/2 orange, seeded
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar (I often omit this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Trim the stalks from the fennel, cut the bulb in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl with the capers and the dill.. Make the dressing. Cut the quarter orange in small pieces and place in the work bowl of a food processor with the vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt. .Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, pour in the olive oil. Pour over the fennel, toss well and serve.

Potato and Fennel Gratin || from Chef Jonathan Miller

This is a great casserole, not heavy at all, and deliciously perfumed with fennel and tarragon. If you find that it is not rich enough for you, try adding some feta cheese to it, either inside as a layer, or on top. Goat cheese would also be nice in it. This is also great with other fresh herbs that might be available: lemon thyme, parsley, marjoram, oregano are all nice, too. Experiment with different varieties of olives, or add capers, too. Lots of room for experimentation here. This is also a great party dish as it tastes great at room temperature and can sit out for a long time.

olive oil
1 large or 2 medium fennel, halved, cored, and sliced crosswise
2 lb potatoes, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
2 large red onions, sliced into thin rounds
4 tomatoes (from a can is great), diced
leaves from 12 branches thyme
1/2 t fennel seeds, coarsely ground
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
3/4 c green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 T chopped tarragon

Toss the fennel with a little olive oil and salt, then roast in a 400 degree oven until lightly colored, sweet, and softened, about 15-20 minutes.

Blanch the potatoes in salted, boiling water for no more than 2-3 minutes. You want them mostly cooked, certainly not mushy. For new potatoes, this time might be shortened somewhat.

Heat a large skillet and saute the onions in some olive oil over high heat until lightly browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, some salt, and half the thyme and heat through another minute or so. Remove from the heat.

In a nice baking dish that is not too large, layer the gratin:

Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom, then add half the onions and half the garlic.
Next, add the olives, half the remaining thyme leaves and half the tarragon.

Now layer the the potatoes, chopped tomatoes, and roasted fennel (in two or three layers, depending on how much you have), adding the remaining garlic as you go, here and there. Season the layers of potatoes with salt and pepper as you go, too.

Top with the remaining onions, a little more olive oil, and bake in the oven (still at 400), loosely covered about 20 minutes.

Uncover and finish the potatoes, perhaps another 15 minutes or so. When it is done, sprinkle any remaining thyme and tarragon leaves over the top. Serve warm or room temperature.

Cauliflower and Fennel Gratin || from Chef Jonathan Miller
Not for the dieting crowd, here is a delicious gratin. Use any kind of quality melting cheese. I used gruyere because that's what I had leftover, but a manchego or fontina would be great here, too. Notice that before I had a chance to take a photo, the dish was gone. That's how good it is. I also used purple cauliflower, but any kind is fine. A smaller gratin dish is all that's necessary here. This is a small dish. (Photo by Jonathan Miller.)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored, then sliced thinly crosswise
olive oil
3/4 c half and half
1/2 c almonds, toasted
1 onion, chopped
2 T flour
1 c milk
3/4 c grated cheese (gruyere, fontina, manchego)
smoked paprika

Heat the oven to 400. Toss the cauliflower and fennel in a sheet pan with some olive oil and salt. Roast until beginning to color and tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and saute the onion until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Toss with the cauliflower and fennel.

Heat the half and half until very hot, but not boiling. Chop the almonds and add to the half and half. Put into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Allow the half and half and almonds to steep for 10 minutes. Strain, pressing hard on the chopped nuts. You'll have substantially less half and half than you started with, but don't worry about that. Discard the almonds.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and add the flour. Stir constantly until the roux turns nutty brown. Whisk in the milk and infused half and half all at once, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and is very smooth, just a few minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese and some salt. Grate some nutmeg into it and taste to make sure you like it. Toss with the cauliflower mixture and scrape everything into a small gratin dish. Sprinkle with some smoked paprika and a little more cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 400. Serve warm. Delicious!

Heidi's Shaved Fennel Salad from 101 Cookbooks

SOME IDEAS from The Victory Garden Cookbook

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Fennel & Tarragon
Adapted from

2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 fennel bulb, large, cut into julienne or sliced thin on a mandolin
3 green onions or shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 teaspoons anise seed, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place potatoes on a greased baking sheet and drizzle with one-third of the olive oil. Toss with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to start roasting. In the meantime, in a skillet over medium heat, saute fennel and onions/shallots in another third of the oil until slightly softened but still crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in tarragon and anise seed. Add the fennel mixture to the potatoes in the oven. Toss well and continue roasting, until potatoes are tender but not soft, about 25 Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Fennel Baked with Parmesan Cheese, from: Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book
Jane Grigson's note
about this recipe: "My favourite fennel dish, the best one of all by far. The simple additions of butter and parmesan - no other cheese will do - show off the fennel flavour perfectly. The point to watch, when the dish is in the oven, is the browning of the cheese. Do not let it go beyond a rich golden-brown." Julia's note: this dish can be halved or made even smaller for just two people with one or two large heads of fennel.

6 heads fennel, trimmed, quartered
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Cook the fennel in salted water until it is tender. It is important to get this right: the fennel should not still be crisp, on the other hand it should not be floppy either. Drain it well and arrange in a generously buttered gratin dish. Be generous, too, with the pepper mill. Sprinkle on the cheese. Put into the oven at 400 degrees, until the cheese is golden brown and the fennel is bubbling vigorously in buttery juices.

Fennel Pizza from Chef Jonathan Miller

2 fennel bulbs, sliced super thin
¼ cup parmesan, grated
olive oil
3 TBL tarragon, chopped
pizza dough, rolled out and ready to top and bake
Roast the fennel slices with some olive oil and a hit of salt in a 400 degree oven until soft, but not too brown, about 20 minutes. Toss with the parmesan. Spread the fennel all over the prepared pizza dough and bake in a 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes. As soon as you pull out the pizza top with the tarragon.

Fennel Salad from Adrienne C.
1 Bulb fennel
1 bunch radishes
1 Cucumber
A few carrots
Rice vinegar
Dill 1-2 tsp if fresh

Thinly slice fennel, carrots and radish. Seed and chop cucumber. Mix everything into a bowl and toss with some rice vinegar and some dill to taste. This salad gets better as the days go by and it marinates in the vinegar, but it is really tasty the day of as well.

History of Fennel from Mediterranean Vegetables by Clifford Wright

The earliest inscriptions that refer to fennel are Coptic, describing its use for treating eye ailments. In Greek mythology knowledge came to man from Olympus in the form of a fiery coal contained in a fennel stalk. The Greeks grew fennel, as did the Romans, and the bulb variety was probably developed in Italy.... During the Italian Middle Ages agrarian cults of benandanti, or good witches, claimed that they fought nocturnal battles with evil witches, who were armed with stalks of sorghum, while benandanti were armed with bundles of fennel.

And more fennel history:

It is mentioned in Gerard (1597), and Parkinson (Theatricum Botanicum, 1640) tells us that its culinary use was derived from Italy, for he says:
'The leaves, seede and rootes are both for meate and medicine; the Italians especially doe much delight in the use thereof, and therefore transplant and whiten it, to make it more tender to please the taste, which being sweete and somewhat hot helpeth to digest the crude qualitie of fish and other viscous meats. We use it to lay upon fish or to boyle it therewith and with divers other things, as also the seeds in bread and other things.'

Oven Potatoes with Fennel

20 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1/2" cubes
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut in 1" slices
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced finely
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine potatoes, fennel, onion, parsley, oil, salt and pepper; toss gently until well coated. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Bake, turning occasionally, until potatoes are crisp on all sides, 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pickled Fennel with Orange from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich
Julia suggests using these on a sandwich, on a cheese board/.cracker platter, or tossed in a green salad.

2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin
1 t pickling salt (kosher or other uniodized salt)
zest from ½ an orange, in strips
1 or 2 small fennel fronds (optional)
6 T white wine vinegar
6 T orange juice
1 T sugar
4 black peppercorns, cracked

In a bowl, toss the fennel slices with the salt. Let them stand 1 hour. Drain the fennel slices, and toss them with the orange zest. Pack gthem into a pint jar, placing a fennel frond or two against the side of the jar, if you like. In a saucepan, heat hte vinegar, orange juice, sugar, and peppercorns to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the fennel. Cap the jar, and let cool to room temp.
Store the pickle in the fridge . It will be ready to eat ina day or two, and will keep for at least several weeks.


2 bunches
2 bulbs
2 tbsp.

2 tbsp.
2 to 3 tbsp.
small red onions
fennel, cleaned and quartered
good olive oil
Pepper to taste
balsamic vinegar
parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put olive oil in bottom of roasting pan.  Coat onions and fennel by rolling in pan.  Pepper lightly. Cover with foil and seal tightly.  Roast for 35 minutes until tender when pierced with fork.  Uncover,  sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and coat with parmesan.  Cook uncovered at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes (til parmesan melts and lightly browned.)  - Liz K. in SF


1 lg. bulb
2 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
1/2 cup
2 oz.
1 cup
1 cup
fennel bulb (sometimes called anise)
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice
halved black grapes, seeded
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
thinly sliced radicchio
thinly sliced romaine (wash and dry before slicing)

Trim fennel stalks flush with bulb and discard any tough outer layers. Halve bulb lengthwise, discard core, and slice fennel thin. In a bowl toss together fennel, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and let stand 10 minutes. Add grapes, Gorgonzola, radicchio, and romaine and toss to combine.


1 bulb
2 tbsp.
1 tbsp.
1/2 tsp.
1 tbsp.
olive oil
black pepper
Pernod liqueur

Trim fennel bulb, and cut into long julienne strips. Combine the oil and butter in a heavy saucepan over very low heat. Add the fennel and pepper, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, add the Pernod, and stir. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

Note from Julia: I made this confit without the Pernod and added some sliced onion with the fennel. It was great topped on a pizza, or can be served as a side dish.
The New Basics, Rosso & Lukins


1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
1 clove
olive oil
 green leaf fennel leaves
lemon juice
garlic, peeled

In a small saucepan, heat oil, fennel leaves, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt and sugar.  Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Ellen Ecker Ogden, From: The Cook's Garden catalog


1 1/2 lb.
2 bulbs
2 cups
1/2 cup
2 tbsp.

2 tbsp.
2 tbsp.
potatoes, peeled & quartered
fennel, trimmed and chopped
defatted chicken broth
skim milk
unsalted butter, melted
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
grated Parmesan
flavored bread crumbs

Boil potatoes until tender; about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to  a mixing bowl and mash well. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine fennel with the broth and cook over medium heat until tender; about 15 minutes. Drain and puree in food processor. Add to potatoes along with the milk and butter. Then transfer to oven-proof casserole; top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Brown under broiler for a few  minutes. from: 


1/4 cup
3 tbsp.
1 1/2 tbsp.
2 lg.
7 cups
1 lg.
1 sm.
minced shallots
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice
arugula (about 2 large bunches), trimmed
fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk minced shallots, olive oil and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut all peel and white pith from oranges. Using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Combine arugula, fennel and onion in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Add orange segments; toss to combine. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.

Bon Appetit


3 bulbs
2 tbsp.
1 clove
2 lg.
1/4 tsp.
1/4 tsp.
2 tsp.
1/2 cup

olive oil
garlic, minced
tomatoes, diced
fresh chopped herb (chervil, marjoram, or parsley, or other...)
feta cheese
reserved fennel tops

Cut off the stalks and feathery leaves of the fennel. Chop and reserve some of the leaves for garnish. Cut fennel bulbs vertically into 8 sections. In a skillet, heat olive oil, ad garlic and fennel, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, add salt, pepper and the fresh herb and cook over low heat until most of the liquid is reduced. Serve sprinkled with the garnish of feta cheese and reserved fennel tops. adapted from More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Shepherd and Raboff

You can prepare the dressing an hour or two in advance, but the salad ingredients won't keep pristine for more than half an hour.

1/2 cup
2 tbsp.

1 tbsp.

less 1 Tbsp. mild olive oil
fresh lemon juice
salt & freshly ground white pepper to taste
a tiny pinch of nutmeg
firmly packed fennel leaves, finely chopped
4 sm. bulbs
1 oz.

fennel, sliced paper-thin
Parmesan cheese, shaved paper-thin
plump mushrooms, about 1 oz each, slided paper-thin
freshly ground white pepper to taste

Use a fork to blend the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Taste for seasoning.  Cover and keep in a cool place. Combine the fennel and cheese in a mixing bowl.  Beat the dressing to blend it and add 1/4 cup to the bowl.  Blend carefuly with your hands - the cheese tends to sink to the bottom, and you don't want to end up with just crumbles. Spread a handful of this mixture on 4 salad plates, filling the plates.  Heap the mushroom slices lightly over the fennel, leaving a curly border of the fennel.  Beat the dressing again and spoon 1 Tbsp. over the mushrooms on each plate.  Grind pepper over the salads and serve at once as a separate course with bread sticks.

The Kitchen Garden Cookbook, Sylvia Thompson


Thinly slice 1 medium-size fennel bulb and 1 unpeeled orange.  Arrange - alternating and overlapping or however you like - on two salad plates.  Strew with half a dozen salt-cured or Kalamata olives, sprinkle each plate with 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, a few drops of fresh lemon juice, a tsp. of finely chopped fennel leaves, salt and freshly ground white pepper.  Serve at once or let the ingredients mingle an hour or so. Serves 2.

The Kitchen Garden Cookbook, Sylvia Thompson


Baking:  First, braise the fennel for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a baking dish and add just 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.  Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees until just tender and beginning to brown.  If desired, uncover toward the end to allow any excess liquid to evaporate, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, and brown under the broiler before serving.  Cooking time: about 1 hour.

Braising:  Braise fennel in broth, tomato sauce, vermouth or sherry (diluted 1-to-1 with water); add lemon zest, garlic, or onion for extra flavor. Braised fennel is delicious hot, warm, or chilled.  Place fennel slices, or halved or quartered small fennel bulbs, in a sauce pan and add just enough boiling liquied to barely cover the vegetable.  Simmer uncovered, turning occasionally, until the fennel is tender, adding more liquid if necessary. Cooking time:  25 to 40 minutes.

Sauteing:  Cut fennel into slivers and heat in a small amount of stock, tossing and stirring it frequently.  For extra flavor, cook chopped onion and garlic along with fennel.  A sprinkling of lemon juice and zest makes a nice finishing touch.  Cooking time:  10 to 15 minutes.

Steaming:  Fennel steamed until crisp-tender can be covered with your favorite sauce or marinated in a vinaigrette, chilled, and served as a salad.  To steam it, place whole or halved bulbs in a vegetable steamer and cook over boiling water until just tender.  Cooking time:  20 to 30 minutes.

The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, Shelden Margen, M.D.

adapted from:

2 cups stock (chicken, beef, vegetable....)
1 Fennel bulb, about 1 pound
1 Sliver garlic
2 Tablespoons  Chopped onions
1 Tablespoon  Lemon juice (or more to‑taste)
1 teaspoon  Lemon zest, chopped
1-2  teaspoons fresh dill (or 1/2 ‑t dried)
1 teaspoon Ground coriander
1 quart  Nonfat yogurt
Clean and slice the fennel bulb, reserving any greens for garnish.  Cook the fennel in the stock with the garlic and shallots until soft. Puree in a blender with the lemon juice and zest, and the spices.

Strain the puree if you wish a smoother texture.  Combine well with the yogurt and chill. Serve garnished with chopped fennel greens or chopped cilantro


1 large fennel bulb (about 1 pound)
3‑ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup drained Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Trim fennel stalks flush with bulb, reserving fronds, and cut outer 2 layers loose at base, removing them carefully and reserving rest of bulb for another use. Chop reserved fronds. In a small bowl cream together cream cheese, olives, and chopped fronds. Spread inside of larger fennel layer with cream cheese mixture and press back of other layer onto filling firmly. Chill fennel, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Unwrap fennel and cut crosswise into 1/3‑inch‑thick slices. Cut slices crosswise into 1 1/2‑inch‑wide sections.


Mariquita Farm Home || A-Z Vegetable Recipe Index