Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.


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Week One: Learning About Fennel

In addition to tasting new vegetables, we also want to learn more about the vegetables we are consuming. While reading about fennel online, I discovered a book that I thought would be a good reference tool for our vegetable project Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants by National Geographic has pictures and descriptions of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, herbs and spices. The kids have been in love with it since it arrived from amazon.com. I am very surprised at just how exciting they find it. They especially enjoy looking the pictures and asking me if I have ever tasted this fruit or that vegetable. Inspired by its colorful pictures of exotic fruits, Lucie and Josie are already making plans for a fruit tasting project in 2015.

We were surprised to find fennel in the herb section, instead of the vegetable section, of our new book. We learned that fennel is part of the parsley family and has the botanical name Foeniculum vulgare. (I can see where they get the “vulgare” part…) The bulb, stalks, leaves and seeds are all edible and different parts of fennel are used in different recipes. The distinctive flavor of fennel comes from the aromatic compound anethole.  Anethole is also found in anise and is used to flavor many licorice-type candies.

Pinterest is a great place to organize our veggie recipes. We are collecting recipes and information about fennel and the other vegetables we will be exploring in our Pinterest account. You can see what we have collected at http://www.pinterest.com/countingveggies/. We pinned a nice tip from Nosh On It explaining how to clean and cut fennel. This would have been helpful to read before we made our first recipe.

Lucie is still deciding on another fennel recipe to try. She is considering a fennel and onion pizza or some kind of fennel salad. Maybe I will have a better opinion of fennel after our next tasting.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

A few words from Lucie:

I’m going to go find someplace quiet to read my new veggie book. I can’t wait for next week’s new vegetable!