Twizzlers used to be one of my favorite childhood candies. I loved twirling it around like a lasso and wearing it around my wrists like Wonder Woman’s magic bracelets. So versatile. So fun. When fennel arrived on the food scene, I kept hearing how fennel tasted like licorice. Really? That weird celery-looking-thing I always pass up in the market tastes like Twizzlers?
Obviously, I had no clue. The intensely sweet anise taste and smell of fennel is so distinctive that it really stands in a class all its own. The different flavor combinations and applications of fennel are truly endless. Roasted with veggies. Grilled with lamb. Baked with fish. Sauteed on its own. Stuffed with onions and pancetta. Used as stuffing. Though fennel is best in late fall and winter, I had a craving for something light and refreshing. This fennel and orange salad is one of my favorite salads that I happily eat year round. Perfect for a first course, or a light meal on its own. So much better than Twizzlers. So versatile. So fun.