The leaves of common and Florence fennel can be used interchangeably where a slightly vigorous flavor is wanted.
In flavoring, both the leaves and seeds are used, as for dill, especially for fat fish and in lentils, rice and potatoes, and in apple pies.
Fish is sometimes cooked over fennel twigs. But in sauces, as with dill, do not let the leaves cook long enough to wilt, unless they have been previously blanched.
The leaves do not retain flavor in drying.
Foeniculum vulgare and its variant, the bronze fennel, are self-sowing and grow to 5 feet. Plant in well-drained moisture retaining soil. F. var. dulce, the Florence fennel or finocchio, is used as a vegetable.
Fennel also makes a wonderful herbal tea.
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