A quick update on the fennel - I've now consumed it as part of a lentil, tomato and fennel ... stew is the wrong word. Stew implies meat. Splodge feels a more correct word, but it seems a bit haphazard. Ratatouille requires courgette to be named correctly. Anyway, whatever it was, it tasted nicer than it had any right to do, and certainly nicer than the potato and fennel mash I made with it last time. Thank you for your advice.
I suspect that confusion about what it should be called will nag at me now, though. Alas.