Fennel belongs to the Umbelliferae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.
History and Origin
Fennel is specific to the Mediterranean region. It grows wild along paths and rocky places. It is a highly aromatic and flavourful herb with both culinary and medicinal uses, as are many of the herbs that grow wild in Dalmatia.
Even the ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman medicines recognized the beneficial uses of fennel, from bronchitis to asthma, from congestion to conjunctivitis, from stimulating the appetite to increasing the flow of breast milk – the uses through history are wide and varied.
Vitamin C is the most active vitamin in fennel and it has the strength to prevent arthritis. Other prominent vitamins and minerals include potassium, an electrolyte that fights high blood pressure, and folate, which helps convert potentially dangerous molecules into a benign form.
The essential oil of fennel provides relief for upset stomachs, and tea made from ground fennel seeds is believed to be good for snake bites, insect bites and food poisoning.
Barbecued fennel with black olive dressing
A creative way to prepare fennel.
It can be served hot as a side dish, or cooled down and served as a salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minute
2 fennel bulbs, sliced lengthways into 1 cm – thick pieces
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped black Kalamata olive
1 garlic clove, crushed
lemon juice (1 lemon)
handful of parsley and basil, each finely chopped
- Heat a BBQ or griddle pan. Toss the fennel in 1 tbsp of the oil, coating well.
- Cook for 5 mins on each side until golden brown and charred.
- To make the dressing, put the olives, garlic, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl. Add the chopped herbs and combine.
Lay the fennel on a platter and pour over the dressing. Eat warm.