Or, you could harvest the whole plant when the bulb is about 4 in. Bronze fennel will lavishly self-seed around if happy: to prevent this, remove the seedheads as they turn brown. Both chicken and pork will be enhanced by the bronze fennel flavor. She has 25 years of experience in editing, garden writing and organic gardening. Sometimes as a gardener of edibles I’m a bit of an egomaniac. The seeds may also be used to make fennel tea. Even if you dislike the taste of licorice, you’ll certainly enjoy the texture and movement fennel’s frilly, wind-catching fronds bring to an ornamental garden. I’ve used it for tea, drenching the foliage with hot water and sipping the licorice-laced liquid that follows. Grind the fronds with oil, salt and garlic into a pesto to slather over seafood or vegetables. However, my neighbor’s bronze fennel has got to be nearing 6 ft. if an inch. To dry Bronze fennel seeds, cut the entire head of the flower off the plant when its seeds are still immature and green. Ripen the head in a … Coriander: Let your cilantro go to seed and then crush the seeds to add to your Asian and Indian recipes. Chop bronze fennel finely for use in marinades. It’s a tender perennial that is hardy to about Zone 6, and is typically grown for its bulb (especially the green form of the plant) but the frilly fronds and tender stems can be used in the kitchen, too. Bronze fennel pistou-ish. Fennel is definitely one of those plants equally at home in the vegetable and flower garden. Uninvited, yet entirely welcome, this self-seeding plant has found its way into dusty corners of the yard where previously nothing dared to grow. Infuse oil with the foliage for a gourmet drizzle. And this may be due partly to the fact that in outlying areas even the deer don’t eat it. For a less chewy approach, all seeds can be minced in a clean coffee grinder, or ground the old-fashioned way – with a mortar and pestle (and kids love to do this). I’ll have to give that a try! Collect 'bulb' as soon as big enough to be useful. Copyright © Canada Wide Media Limited. It tastes like celery and is a fabulous befriender of beneficial insects who flock to it. Pick young stems and leaves as required. From the editors of BCLiving, a seasonal subscription box of beauty products & decor treasures, Bronze fennel is a versatile, prolific edible that is easy to grow. Bronze fennel is not the bulb variety that you are used to seeing as a salad or vegetable side, it is an herb variety that can be completely utilized. With pasta. Herb or sweet fennel and blushing bronze fennel are taller plants that soften any scene with their feathery texture. You can choose to leave the flower buds on or pinch them off to allow the fennel to keep growing (once any plant goes to seed its growth begins to slow down). And I love chewing on the breath-freshening green and brown seeds. Become a registered user and get access to exclusive benefits like... © 2006-2020 Bloomington Brands, LLC. Fennel is a hugely versatile vegetable that grows easily, keeps well, and forms the basis of many dishes, from appetisers to desserts, particularly in Italian cuisine.. Imparting distinctive, yet subtle aniseed notes that vary in intensity, depending on whether it's eaten raw or cooked, knowing how to use fennel gives you access to a wonderfully useful vegetable. Bronze fennel seeds may be used in baked goods like breads and biscuits. Fennel also produces beautiful umbel flowers like Queen Anne’s Lace. You can also dry them and roast a whole fish or rack of lamb on them. Store in your basement or garage to dry slowly and then shake the bag and pluck off the stubborn remaining seeds a few weeks later. The licorice-tasting seeds can be strewn over bread dough while the fronds add flavour to hearty winter soups (Left Image: Flickr / Adam Patterson). Add fronds, seeds or stalk to fish stock. With regard to my Pacific Northwest garden, my response to concerns about any over-zealousness is similar to what I say about parsley, kale and other eager edibles: if it’s overrunning the garden, you’re just not eating enough of it. Fennel typically grows to about 3 ft. tall. And who knew that this magnesium-rich, digestion-enhancing mega-plant is so healthy and useful in the kitchen? They are basically free plants, so I wanted to get the most out of them and explore what bronze fennel can do. The flower stalks collected just before they bloom can be eaten like celery. Bulb fennel How to Harvest Fennel Pollen . She was contributing editor to several gardening bestsellers, including The Zero-Mile Diet (Harbour Publishing, 2010) and the first The Book of Kale (Harbour Publishing, 2012) and is garden series editor of more than 15 books and guides focused on organic gardening. Bronze fennel pistou-ish A key pantry staple that can be pulled out to be put on absolutely anything that you’d want to pep up. A key pantry staple that can be pulled out to be put on absolutely anything that you’d want to pep up. The whole plant—whether it’s the green or bronze-colored form—has a licorice or sweet anise flavor and fragrance, and a little goes a long way in flavoring salad dressings, salads, butters, oils and sugars. Collect seeds as they mature. Use bronze fennel in exactly the same ways as the 'normal' fennel. Carol Pope is co-author (with Sharon Hanna) of the newly released The Book of Kale & Friends: 14 Easy-to-Grow Superfoods (Douglas & McIntyre). Once I put my mind to making good use of this plant, I found there was an almost unlimited list of how to savour this gift from the garden: Lovage: I’ve talked before about this garden superstar, edible from root to leaves to seeds. What I haven’t mentioned yet though is that its abundant umbels of seeds taste just like celery seed and are a tasty addition to pickles, nasturtium capers, artisan breads, crackers, fish and roasted free-range chicken. Saute seeds with free-range turkey sausage to add to a tomato-based pasta sauce. If you love to garden, you need the newsletter! The bulb can be used in slaws. Bronze fennel, an incredible edible, is the perfect fix for the seedy side of your garden where nothing else dares to grow. Bronze fennel leaves make an attractive garnish for salad, pasta and rice dishes. And despite last year’s record-breaking drought, it didn’t wince despite virtually never being watered. In fall, the seed heads contain dozens of light tan ovoid, ribbed seeds. And thank your neighbor for the seedlings! I want to grow what feeds my family, but secretly I want the garden to look jaw-droppingly gorgeous too. Growing bronze fennel not only add flavors to your dishes but it can also color, texture and movement to your ornamental gardens Chop fronds over roasting potatoes or vegetables. I think that’s because it’s growing in the ideal conditions for that plant—well-drained, fertile soil with lots of organic matter, full sun (at least six hours each day) and consistently moist soil. If you live in Zones 6 or warmer, you may choose to keep the fennel growing by lightly mulching it for the winter. I’ve also heard that the fennel seeds can be used as a breath freshener. Since that pesto-making adventure, I’ve actually left a few bronze fennel seedlings to grow. Whichever use you decide on—in the veg or flower garden, flavoring oils or roasting—fennel is probably one of the most versatile plants you’ll ever have. First, let me explain fennel a bit. Their small yellow flowers are borne in 6-inch umbels in midsummer. And if it does, even when it’s no thanks to me, I’ll take the credit with no reservations whatsoever. Fennel pollen has been a trendy spice among chefs since before 2011, though Italian cooks have used it as a dry spice for hundreds of years. In Italian cooking, one of the traditional ways to use fennel is to pair it with pasta. We like to use the stems to infuse stocks and sauces with the plants flavor. Each year’s food garden has both its dynamic and dodgy moments, but there is invariably a particular high spot July through September when bronze fennel blazes upward, a mass of ferny garden architecture culminating in mustard-yellow crowns of blossoms followed by star-like webs of green and yellow seeds. Harvest leaves anytime during the growing season, keeping in mind to never harvest more than a third of the leaves at one time—it’ll slow the plant’s growth. Mustard: Allow a few of your mustard greens to go to seed and then gather them up for a spicy addition to pickles or a powdered punch for dressings. wide. Earlier in the season I mentioned making what is called a “Fridge-Dive Pesto.” Basically, it’s a pesto made from hardy greens and leafy herbs in the garden. In fact, bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’) is so hardy and prolific that it can be a bit of a problem in some gardens and even considered an invasive down south. Oh, and let me mention—it’s a beautiful plant! BCLiving keeps you in the know on everything West Coast, highlighting local trends, eats, entertainment and travel ideas. Finely chop the fronds over seafood and summer salads. Store fresh Bronze fennel in the refrigerator, where it will last for up to 5 days. You can even sprinkle chopped leaves on main dishes such as fish and beef. What else does it do? Its flavor goes well with other key savory seasonings like garlic and pepper.
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