Homegrown: Roadside treat


Illustration by Hayley Doshay

F is for fennel, specifically Florence fennel, a plant so ubiquitous you can find it by roadsides all over Northern California. It's in farmers markets from fall through spring, but wild bulbs abound since it's an invasive perennial plant. Choose heavy, bright white bulbs with feathery leaves attached. Thinly sliced and dressed with Meyer lemon juice and a pinch of salt, fennel makes for an ideal, quick salad alongside grilled fish. It's also fantastic halved and roasted alongside chicken for a subtly sweet veg. Don't discard those fronds—they can be used as a garnish or tossed into green salads.