I've encountered people who either love fennel or don't like it at all. They tell me they don't know what to do with it or it reminds them too much of licorice. Although, it does have a bit of a licorice scent, and the fronds taste a little like it when eaten raw, I don't get that flavor when I cook the bulb.
Normally, I tell people to slice up the bulb and simply roast it with oil, salt and pepper, which has helped some fennel non- lovers enjoy fennel for the first time.
I hope to turn more people onto this delicious vegetable. Here's a tasty fennel tapenade recipe, for both fennel lovers and non-lovers to enjoy.
1 large fennel bulb
1 meyer or regular lemon
1 anaheim pepper
celtic sea salt
organic black pepper
organic garlic fused olive oil
Preheat oven to 425. Slice the fennel bulb. Add the oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Roast the fennel in the center or bottom rack of the oven for about half an hour. Let it cook through and get a little crispy around the edges.
Slice the anaheim pepper and sautée it on low heat with oil. The oil turns red and becomes flavored by the pepper. When the fennel is done, drizzle the olive oil from the pan on top of the fennel.
In a food processor, pulse the fennel, anaheim pepper, and all of the juice from the lemon. Add more salt and lemon juice if needed.
The flavor is tangy and a little spicy. You can use it as a dip for chips, in a sandwich, eat it plain, mix it with rice, there are plenty of ways to use it.