Fennel, A Touch of Licorice and Crunchy
Marty Martindale

Put a new vegetable in your life! fennelCooked, or raw, fennel is tasty.

Though Mediterranean in origin, fennel’s shape resembles a Scottish bagpipe, from its bulb-shaped base to as many as six celery-like stalks jutting awkwardly outward. Above these, as with a bagpipe’s tassels, fennel’s feathery, dill-looking “leaves” decorate each stalk end. A member of the parsley family, the bulb of fennel has the texture of celery and is used from antipasto to fine desserts. This curious organic creation tastes mildly like anise or licorice. Yes. This bulb configuration is also the source of fennel seed and a very highly-prized, expensive fennel pollen. 

This specimen is not the result of genetic engineering gone astray though it looks that way. Early on, King Charlemagne insisted fennel be grown in the palace gardens. Later all the Romans were making elaborate salads with fennel and a vinaigrette dressing. Shakespeare enjoyed fennel bulb with fish.  

Rich in vitamin A, this vegetable has a fair amount of calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium.  

Select firm bulbs, not brown and its green top not limp. Store the entire vegetable tightly wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.  


Delicious braised, steamed, sautéed, grilled or raw – may be breaded, fried, sautéed or roasted  Microwave scored, seasoned bulb drizzled with olive oil for 5 minutes and serve topped with fresh lime juice.   

Use any place you would use celery 

Delicious raw and in salads 

Compatible with olive oil, butter, thyme, bay, parsley, fennel seeds, orange, lemon, saffron, tomatoes, potatoes, olives, garlic, chili and cumin. 

Use with parmesan, gruyere, Stilton or goat cheese 

Make a salad of sliced, raw fennel, lemon, olive oil, blood oranges, pomegranate seeds. Add grated pecorino cheese 

Use stalks in soups 

Use “leaves” as you would use the herb dill. Simply chop roughly. 

Foodsites with fennel recipes: 




Kohlrabi – Looks Like it has Too Many Tubes
Marty Martindale

It’s not nice to pick on anything because of its looks. However, it’s difficult not to see that all three of these veggies resemble a type of near mutation – and how much rely on “steaminess!” Some liken kohlrabi to an early Sputnik; others think it looks like a hot air balloon. California promotes fennel pretty well, and like one-time cellar queen, celeriac now struggles for a comeback. Kohlrabi, once the favored vegetable of European nobles and peasants alike, had fallen off the veggie pop charts. Now it seems to be more noticed.

Celeriac — Ugly, Looks like the Surface of the Moon

Fennel — Looks Like a Scottish Bagpipe

 Kohlrabi, sometimes known as the Italian turnip, is related to the cabbage and grows easily. Its name comes from the German Kohl (cabbage) plus Rübe (Swiss German for turnip). The Austrians combined it into “Kohlrübe.” It, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Continue reading