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Old 10-24-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
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Replacing Celery with Fennel

I've been thinking about testing changing around some ingredients when making bolognese or other sauces that incorporate celery into the recipe.

Fennel has almost the same texture as celery yet is so much more flavorful.

Has anyone tried to replace one for the other in standard recipes? Price is of course the other issue.

Cheers!

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Old 10-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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It all depends on whether you want the licorice flavor of fennel in a dish. The celery, along with onion and carrot provide a flavor base for a dish. Subbing fennel would add a significant new flavor. I wouldn't do it but I'm not a fan of that flavor.

Bottom line is what you like. Try it and decide.

I'm not aware of pricing of the two items. Is one a lot more expensive?
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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I think Andy has a point, fennel has that distinctive aniseed flavour, i think it could work in the right dish but may be quite odd in some dishes.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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i love fennel, so i add it to a lot of dishes that call for celery. sometimes in place of, sometimes replacing only half of the celery.

btw, when cooked in something like a sauce, stew, or braise, most of the licorice flavour goes away. it becomes only a faint background thing.

fennel seed is a different story, however. you get that distintive taste from the seeds even when cooked a long time when you bite into one.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
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I'm with BuckyTom. It is very prominent in Mediterrean dishes. I use it in chicken/turkey soup and wouldn't dream of substituting fennel seeds for grated fennel in Porchetta. It is also very tasty roasted or, if you like the flavor, as a salad. I use the fronds in a marinated cucumber salad instead of dill sometimes. I've also used the fronds in place of French Tarragon in recipes.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #6
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I love ground fennel seed in anything saucy and Italian. I would bet fennel bulb would go nicely in a tomato based Italian pasta dish, sauteed along with the onions and peppers.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:10 PM   #7
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All this talk about fennel made me recall this recipe:

Recipe Details

FWIW, the LCBO Food and Drink magazine has 71 recipes that come up when one puts in fennel. This does include recipes that use the seeds. One recipe is for a rhubarb-fennel shortcake. Sounds interesting. And, Dawglover, there is one using fennel bulb and tomato sauce, if not more than one. I happen to have everything to make the pork tenderloin-fennel dish...hmmm....
I've made this fennel confit
(very nice with salmon as I recall)
http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/RecipeC...&recipeID=1881

And this soup was devine (might be on next weekend's list of things to cook...)

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/RecipeC...&recipeID=3581

And no, I don't work for the LCBO. But I do like the recipes that are included in Food and Drink. If I am entertaining (something I haven't done for awhile), I go to Food and Drink for inspiration.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Ces
Awesome
I love fennel. I can eat it raw in a vinaigrette but that soup sounds great!!!
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:41 AM   #9
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Fennel is really good when braised in stock, you can use veg or chicken, with lemon juice and some butter or olive oil
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