Fennel and Cabbage Slaw

For the last few weeks, I’ve caught several episodes on television talking about fennel and its wondrous culinary potential. It occurred to me that you know, I’ve never had fennel…ever. What am I missing out on here?

Resembling something like an onion with a celery headdress to me, I’ve seen it time and time again in the supermarket, but honestly, I’ve never made it or even had it in a restaurant. I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Aside from it’s unorthodox appearance, it’s actually pretty darn good.

Also called “anise” in some supermarkets, when you cut open the bulb, the similarly sweet, licorice smell and flavor is unmistakable. Additional flavor can be found in the feathery fronds which you can chop up and use as a garnish or, as in this recipe, to further enhance the sweet flavor and aromatics of the dish.

I chose this recipe from Melissa d’Arabian because it was fairly easy didn’t have too many other ingredients that would cloud the flavor of the fennel. I really wanted to see what it was about. Slightly sweet with licorice, the bulb gives a very nice crunch and delicate flavor the slaw. It was a definite 2 thumbs up experience! I forewent the rest of what I was going to prepare for dinner and just had this. That’s how good it was.

To prepare the fennel, wash and dry the bulb. Cut off the top, where the green starts to turn white, and reserve the top or “headdress” as I like to call it. Quarter the bulb lengthwise and using a diagonal cut on each quarter, remove the hard core. Slice and enjoy!

Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian


1 fennel bulb, core removed, cut into quarters, and sliced very thinly, fronds reserved
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
2 scallions, chopped
2 strips bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

For the dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Toss the fennel, cabbage, scallions, and bacon together in a medium bowl. Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, fennel fronds, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl. Add the dressing to the slaw and toss to coat.


~ by tastydesu on April 16, 2010.

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