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Braised Fennel

March 22, 2010

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

fresh mozzarella

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

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. brc permalink
    March 22, 2010 9:35 pm

    Looks yummy. Your dinner turned out WAY better than mine! I’ve never bought fennel before, but I have had it at your house and it’s good. It’s one of those intimidating food items that if you’ve never worked with it, you kind of steer clear. Maybe this will encourage me to try it. It looks easy enough. And the mozzarella seems like the perfect finishing touch!

  2. brc permalink
    March 22, 2010 9:40 pm

    Ok I just read through the recipe. I’m not sure I understand what braising is?? Is it like simmering? Should I call the “Ask Amy” hotline?

    • March 22, 2010 10:00 pm

      Braising (from the French “braiser”), is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour. It is usually done to meat but can apply to other foods. I found this on Wikipedia. Hope it is helpful :). I’m sorry your dinner didn’t turn out.

  3. March 23, 2010 7:17 am

    I believe I’m going to have to try this soon! Thanks for the idea!

  4. March 27, 2010 5:57 pm

    I agree. I don’t like licorice, but I love fennel. I even grow the herb fennel, though I don’t use it nearly as often as I should!

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