I just bought Anise and don't know how to cook it. Ideas?

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It cost me 1.99 and smelled delicious. What to do?

j e r e m y (x Jeremy), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:12 (fifteen years ago) link

do you mean like Star anise? the spice?

chris (chris), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

You mean fennel? Slice it as thin as you can and put it in a salad with lots of arugula and shaved parmesan cheese, dressed with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon with salt and lots of pepper. One of the most delicious things ever. If you want to cook it you can use it instead of celery pretty much anywhere, but it loses a lot of its taste.

antexit (antexit), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:15 (fifteen years ago) link

oh right, fennel then. Shave it really thin and toss with olive oil and lemon juice, a bit of salt and pepper too.

ha ha x-post

chris (chris), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Sorry to be such an anise-head. It was, in fact, fennel:


There is a bit of confusion about these two plants. For some
reason,the fennel plant, which resembles celery with fern like tops,
has been called sweet anise in produce markets. The true anise is
cultivated only for its seeds. So what you see labelled "sweet anise"
in your market is probably fennel, but no matter what you call it,
this is a highly interesting vegetable.

j e r e m y (x Jeremy), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:19 (fifteen years ago) link

save the tops though to use as a herb.

we have some of this withering in our kitchen at the moment, as we just haven't fancied it since we bought it, for shame

chris (chris), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:22 (fifteen years ago) link

saute under medium-low heat in butter with garlic, onions and parsley until the onions are soft and translucent. add vegetable stock and boil until the fennel is soft. puree in a blender with a bit of lemon juice and a bit of tarragon and salt and pepper. chill. before serving add a dollop of cream or yogurt. there's your fennel gazpacho.

vahid (vahid), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:23 (fifteen years ago) link

that's the most basic cold soup ever. i'll do that with any crunchy vegetable. it's great with autumn squash or potatos and leeks, for example.

vahid (vahid), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I've sauteed it with lemon juice added at the end before too, that's opretty good, especially with fish

chris (chris), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:27 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm gonna try the soup with one half, and the other half I'll do w. lemon, salt and a little bit of rocket because I'm hungry as sin.

j e r e m y (x Jeremy), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Are there rings around your anise?

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:51 (fifteen years ago) link

"Much like other eponymous injuries: tennis elbow, runner's knee, swimmer's ear, the frequent fennel-eater must contend with the dread threat of anise-anus."

j e r e m y (x Jeremy), Sunday, 20 June 2004 21:06 (fifteen years ago) link

I say beware the fennel. Too much makes everything taste like sausage.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Sunday, 20 June 2004 22:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Soup is great way to use it.

If you get star anise, you can use them to make a nice tea with some ginger root. :-)

lyra (lyra), Sunday, 20 June 2004 23:54 (fifteen years ago) link

slice it v. thinly then bake en papillote with fish. It is your friend. Alternatively (and this is always an excellent option) BARBECUE. Though if that's too much like hard work then throw it in the salad you buffoon. THE SALAD.

Matt (Matt), Monday, 21 June 2004 00:11 (fifteen years ago) link

I've never tried it but I'm convinced that steamed fennel could be used in quick bread, a la zucchini bread.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Monday, 21 June 2004 00:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Y'know. I think it could...

Matt (Matt), Monday, 21 June 2004 00:25 (fifteen years ago) link

ohh... barbecue is an excellent idea...

j e r e m y (x Jeremy), Monday, 21 June 2004 00:34 (fifteen years ago) link

barbecue is always an excellent idea...:-)

Matt (Matt), Monday, 21 June 2004 00:57 (fifteen years ago) link

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and halved
2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced

To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together the lemon juice, chopped tarragon, and olive and canola oils in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare the salad: Cut the apple into thin slices and place in a medium bowl with the fennel. Toss with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.

I seem to remember actual vineger being used when I had this, so maybe throw some of that in too.

nickn (nickn), Monday, 21 June 2004 01:01 (fifteen years ago) link

canola oil in dressings? is that like normal cooking oil? how does that taste in a dressing?

chris (chris), Monday, 21 June 2004 06:31 (fifteen years ago) link

It tastes like nothing.

antexit (antexit), Monday, 21 June 2004 14:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I always thought it tasted like liquorice.

El Diablo Robotico (Nicole), Monday, 21 June 2004 15:03 (fifteen years ago) link

For a cold, summer side -

Sweat finely sliced with olive oil. Add chicken stock and let it simmer down. Take out when edges begin to brown. Chill. Serve with pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon and oil.

I find that cooking fennel with lemon juice gives it the taste of apples (which I prefer to obtain from apples themselves) whereas adding lemon after the fennel is cooked makes for a more complex taste.

Michael White (Hereward), Monday, 21 June 2004 15:18 (fifteen years ago) link


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