Cooking fennel, that wily vegetable oft ignored in grocery stores, is made simple when cooking with sous vide.
Fennel has a distinctive licorice scent to it which can be off-putting for some. When cooked, however, fennel takes on a light, crisp flavor with hints of anise. Fennel can be used in much the same way as celery. Although great cooked, it can also be eaten raw and used in salads.
Unfortunately, thanks to fennel’s many layers cooking it evenly can be a challenge. With the precise application of heat through sous vide cooking, however, fennel can be prepared perfectly every time.
- 1 large fennel bulb
- Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- (optional) star anise
- (optional) orange, lemon, or lime zest
Prepping fennel for sous vide is easy. All you need to do is cut off woody stalks at the top of the bulb and slice a thin layer off of the root. Some grocers also leave on the thin, wispy, herb-like filaments at the tops of the stalks. If they did you’re in luck! These can be plucked and reserved for garnishing later.
Before preparing your fennel further heat your water bath to 185F.
Now slice your fennel into quarters, sixths, or eighths depending one how you want to size them. Rub your fennel down with kosher salt and extra virgin olive oil. Place in your vacuum sealable bag.
Here’s where you can get a little creative. If you want to bring out more of the licorice notes adding one star-anise to your bag will do the trick. Fennel also responds really well to citrus so lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit are also flavors which will work wonders.
Whatever you decide, cook your fennel for no longer than 45 minutes. When done remove from the water bath, drain, and discard the cooking liquid.
Fennel is best served with fish, beef or pork, but can also be served by itself as finger food.
Check out the rest of our “Can you Sous Vide Vegetables” series for more ways to get cooking with sous vide.