"I am a relative newcome to the Fennel Fan Club. This is not a vegetable that was
common in our family and for a long time I avoided it: from the smell and look
it seemed to combine the flavours and texture of celery and black jelly bean,
not a happy combination. As I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve come to realize
that anise is a lovely flavour and I was happily surprised one day to discover
that raw fennel, thinly sliced, is a delicious and refreshing nibble with a
glass of wine before dinner.
I still had some doubts about the wisdom of cooking fennel, though: that
lingering impression of celery was hard to banish. (In case you can’t tell, I
can think of few things more disgusting than soggy cooked celery…) But I made
some braised leeks the other day and the Critic against his better judgement
tried it and liked it….so I decided to sacrifice a head of fennel to the Gods
of Experimentation and try braising it."
Recipe by Barrett, Too Many Chefs, Chicago