Fennel straddles the line between a vegetable and an herb. The leaves and seeds of the plant are used to add a mild anise flavor to cooked dishes. The stalks and large bulb are prepared as a fresh or cooked vegetable. This oddly shaped vegetable requires some preparation before serving to remove the unappetizing core. The stalks are also tough if not cut and cooked thoroughly. Fennel with bright green stalks and white bulbs that are more than 2 inches in diameter provide the best flavor and quality.

Things You'll Need

Peel the outer layer from the bulb, similar to how you peel an onion. Rinse the bulb and stalks under cool running water after peeling.

Lay the fennel on its side. Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb.

Strip the leaves from the stalks if you prefer to use them separately from the rest of the fennel. Slice the stalks into ΒΌ-inch strips.

Set the bulb upright on the cutting board. Cut it in half.

Lay each half cut-side down on the cutting board. Cut the halves in half again.

Trim off the inner portion of each bulb quarter, removing the core from the wedges. Cut the remaining wedges into smaller pieces, depending on the desired size and the slice size indicated in your recipe.