The bulbous base of fennel must be thoroughly washed and the stems trimmed off. Small "bulbs" may be left whole, but larger ones should be cut in half or quarters. To cook, simply boil in water until tender and drain very thoroughly. The fennel bulbs can be dressed with butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of mustard powder. Fennel can be chilled after cooking and served in an oil and vinegar dressing.
The green, feathery leaves of fennel can be used in soups or salads.