To copy Steph, I also grabbed some fennel for the very first time. Until today, I had neither cooked it nor even tasted it, though I knew it to be licorice-flavored. I chopped up a bulb and tasted a raw piece and I do not think I shall be eating it raw. Way too strong a licorice flavor for my tastes. Anyway, I sauteed an onion and a fat clove of garlic in olive oil, then added the chopped fennel, a chopped tomato, some fresh basil chiffonade, a palmful of chopped kalamata olives and a big spoonful of capers, plus salt and pepper.
Cooked with all these other ingredients, the fennel completely mellowed out and was only left with a very faint licorice flavor (a good thing in my book). It was a lovely topping for a nice dense piece of fish.
I totally cheated with the side vegetables and used a frozen mix, but it was a pretty good one, with lots of asparagus.