I pan-fried pork chops with slivers of garlic, put them on plates and, rubbing the fennel flowers between finger and thumb, I sprinkled pollen over the chops. So aromatic! A fresh, sweet fragrance, very nice with pork.
|Pork chops sprinkled with fennel pollen.|
Or, with prices like that, perhaps I should package and sell it.
Wild fennel doesn’t produce a fleshy bulbous stem like cultivated Florence fennel. The bulb of cultivated fennel, which you can buy at the grocery store, is used raw or cooked.
|Wild fennel flowers.|
In Spain the first feathery shoots are foraged to be added to potaje, a stew with chickpeas, wheat berries and sausage. Snippets of the fronds are also sprinkled on spring vegetables such as fava beans, peas and artichokes.
Once the stalks grow tall and fibrous, they are not fit to eat. But they make a wonderful addition to a grilling fire, producing an aromatic smoke that adds a subtle flavor to sea bass or bream.
|Fennel pollen, like yellow dust.|
Come October, the flower heads of wild fennel are used as seasoning for home-cured olives. See that recipe here.
|Pan-fried pork chops with garlic and fennel pollen.|