Fennel 5th October 2017 by Nicholas Ripley Fennel is a perennial herb with yellow flowers, feathery leaves & edible bulb root. It originated in the Mediterranean & grows well in sunshine and well drained soils. Used in cooking and medicine and tasting of aniseed. fenneltransparent600#81d742 How To GrowHow To EatRecipes Dig the soil, remove all weeds and add compost or well rotted manure in winter. Sow seeds in compost in modules (root trainers minimise root disturbance). Plant out from May after danger of frost passed. Keep soil moist, weed & mulch then earth up around swelling bulbs as they swell from midsummer to autumn. Feed with high potassium liquid every two weeks once swelling. Cut at ground level & further shoots will form. Raw – younger leaves can be added to salads. Cooked –seeds, leaves & root all add flavour to fish dishes & bulbs can be roasted too. Bengali butternut squash Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan & add asafoetida, bayleaf, panch phoron (Bengali 5spice includes fennel seeds) & chillies & fry for 1-2 minutes. Add a small diced onion & coat in the spices. Add ½ tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp ginger paste, salt & sugar to taste. Add splash of water & cook for further 2 minutes. Add 500g butternut squash (peeled & cubed) & 200ml boiling water & bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add 200g canned chickpeas, 1 tsp garam masala & 1 tsp ground fennel seeds & splash of water to loosen mixture. Stir well & serve warm.