When selecting fennel (also known as finocchio), the stocks should be fresh, clean, crisp and solid. The bulbs should be firm and clean with stocks still intact.
Store fennel in refrigerator unwashed for up to four days.
Preparing fennel cut off the stems and leaves and use for flavoring stews, soups and for sprinkling over dishes as you would dill. Fennel has a mild licorice flavor and is a traditional fish herb. Fennel works well in lamb dishes, omelets, salads and herb breads. Stalks can be used in any recipe that calls for celery or can be used in creamy celery soup. The fennel bulbs can be quartered and eaten raw with salt or make an interesting addition to any salad. The bulb can be braised, steamed or boiled for many of your favorite dishes including stews and soups.