What's In Season: January
How To Select: Bulbous fennel—often mislabeled as anise, but distinct from the wild herb—imparts a clean, natural sweetness with hints of licorice. Choose white, firm, unblemished bulbs adjoining crisp stalks with bright green willowy tops. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, fennel stays fresh up to five days; longer storage dries it out.
Preparation Tips: Slice the crunchy raw bulb into salads with apples, oranges, red onion, or crumbly cheeses. Simmer stalks in soups; roast chopped stalks and bulb alongside other vegetables or chicken; snip fennel’s graceful greenery into dishes calling for dill or parsley (add at the end of cooking).
Health Benefits: Fiber-rich fennel also offers vitamin C, potassium, and folate.