The most commonly used fennel leaves in Greek cooking are fresh, sold in bunches or attached to the root. It is sometimes sold under the name “anise” because of the similarity in tastes, but anise and fennel are different. Dried fennel leaves, flowers, and seeds are also available, packaged in a variety of containers.

The Greeks are not the only ones who enjoy this herb. You can find it widely used in: Italy, Germany, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East use fennel seed in their cookery.

Fennel is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.

The ancient Greeks named the herb “marathon” – derived from the Greek “maraino” (to grow thin). They believed fennel increased one’s longevity, strength, and courage.

The ancient Greeks named the herb to commemorate a battle at Marathon against the Persians that was fought in a field of fennel.


fennel avocado salad


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. n a medium to large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Use the tip of the knife to cut the avocado into slices or cubes—carefully cutting through the flesh but not through the peel. Then push the peel, as if you’re trying to flip it inside-out, over the bowl full of dressing and the slices or chunks will fall right out! Toss to coat the avocado with the dressing, mashing some of the avocado into the dressing, if you like.
  3. Trim off and discard the root end and the green stalks of the fennel (if there are some frilly leaves attaches to the stalks, reserve them to use as a garnish, if you like). Cut the bulb in half lengthwise, slice crosswise as thinly as possible and add the fennel to the bowl.
  4. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Add them to the bowl.
  5. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly with the dressing. Add black pepper and more salt to taste. If you reserved some fennel fronds, use them as a delicate and tasty garnish.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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