Harvesting Fennel (Finnochio) Bulbs

Fennel

Fennel (Photo credit: Satrina0)

I harvested my fennel bulbs (Finnochio) as some of them are starting to bolt. I left a few in as the flowers attract beneficial insects and I will keep the seeds. I plan to blanch most of them, freeze them and cook them later. I’m also drying some of the fronds to use as herbs.

Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco. It was developed in the late 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen from Genoa, Italy who settled in San Francisco. It is served with crusty bread. Even if you haven’t grown Italian fennel (which is the bulbing variety), you can buy some at the store and try this recipe-it is delicious.

On New Year’s Day, I merged two recipes of Cioppino to come up with this one. I liked the fennel in it so much that I decided to try to grow some this season. It is really easy to grow but must be started in early spring.

Here is my MOST FAVORITE RECIPE for using fennel.

Cioppino

Cioppino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CIOPPINO
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp – peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
18 small clams
18 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as cod, halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch pc
1 1/2 cups crabmeat