Fennel is a crisp, mildly anise-flavored vegetable with a creamy or greenish white bulb and tubular celerylike stalks with feathery leaves. It is also called by its Italian name, "finocchio." Choose bulbs that are free of cracks or brown spots. The fine, feathery leaves, or fronds, are used as a fresh herb.
To core and slice fennel:
Trim the stalks close to the bulb. Discard the bruised outer stalks. Halve or quarter the bulb lengthwise. Rinse between layers to remove grit. With a chef's knife, remove and discard the core from each piece. Slice the pieces as directed in recipes.For other herb varieties, see basil, bay leaves, borage, bouquet garni, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, epazote, fines herbes, garlic chives, herbes de Provence, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme.