Fennel can give character to a dull, ordinary dish. It can be pureed, grated and grilled, making it very versatile.
Chances are you’re familiar with fennel as the source of fennel seed, not as a vegetable or herb, as I’ve used it in this salad. Also known as sweet anise, finocchio or Florence fennel, this variety of fennel is grown for the bulb that develops above the ground, with stalks topped by feathery leaves. Italians might serve fennel as part of an antipasto.
It is often used to stuff fish or add to fish soup. It has a very distinctive flavor of licorice. Here, it goes nicely with radishes, parsley and a ham such as prosciutto in a simple dressing.