Fennel is a vegetable that is in season in Bay Area markets during spring, early summer and fall. Fennel's compact and succulent bulb has a strong characteristic anise flavor. It pairs well with fish, but can also be used in salads, sauces, soups or garnish. It can be served raw, caramelized, braised whole, parboiled or grilled. It is versatile with a unique and distinct flavor. Peel the coarse outer layer away when preparing the bulbs for cooking.