Fennel galore here! You can see the young furry piece of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) growth bursting out of the frond near the middle of the photo. Harvest these tender young stalks/fronds and greens when still flexible. Wild fennel originates from the Mediterranean and is high in phenols. Phenols are phytochemicals that block inflammation and clumping of platelets in the body. Click here to view specific details of phenols in wild fennel, published in a 2003 issue of the World Review of Nutrition and Diet.
The following recipe comes from Angelo Garro from Sicily. They are absolutely delicious fritters, and a fun way to use this wildly abundant wild food. Click here for more details and photos of Angelo’s recipe.
Wild Fennel Fritters
1 1/2 lbs of wild fennel fronds
1 c shredded parmasean cheese
1 c coarse bread crumbs (made from day-old bread ground up in a food processor or blender)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
salt & pepper to taste
Wash young fennel fronds and steam or parboil for 15-20 minutes. Once they have cooled, chop finely. Mix eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, seasonings, and cooled fennel in bowl. Form into patties and fry in oil. Once they have been cooked on both sides, place them onto paper towels to absorb extra oil. Salt lightly and serve immediately.