I hear people say “I don’t like licorice so I know I won’t like fennel”, pishaw I say. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. When cooked, Florence fennel, is very mild with only the slightest hint of licorice. Braised with garlic and tomato it is both easy and delicious.
Braised Fennel Bulb
1 fennel bulb
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned
1/2 cup broth
a few pinches of oregano
Cut fronds and stems off and rinse bulb. Cut bottom off off bulb, cut in half and cut out center section. Cut in half again then cut each quarter in half one more time to make bite sized pieces. Separate any pieces that are attached. Sauté garlic in olive oil then add fennel before the garlic browns. Add tomato pieces and cook for a few minutes before adding broth. Stir then cover and let braise for about 10 minutes. You may need to add more broth. Once the fennel is softened, lay slices of fresh mozzarella over it and cover again just until the cheese melts. Serve in low bowls with hearty bread to soak up the yummy tomato broth.
How beautiful is this?
Remove the hard center section of the fennel bulb
Crush and mince garlic.
Braise bite sized pieces with garlic, olive oil and tomato
Add fresh mozzarella