About this Recipe
Fennel’s sturdy, fibrous texture makes it ideal for a low, slow braise in wine. The result is tender and savory, and sports an added layer of flavor from the vermouth and star anise.
Fennel bulbs and fronds are full of vitamins (several Bs and C), an excellent source of fiber, and contain calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium). They are considered a heart-healthy food with several other antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and even anti-cancer benefits.
Serves 4 to 6 Serves
- 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks cut off just above the bulb
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white vermouth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 star anise, whole
- Olive oil
Step 1Trim and save the fennel fronds for garnishing the finished dish. Halve the bulbs lengthwise, then cut each half (again lengthwise) into quarters. Don’t cut out the core at the base of the bulbs; these will help hold the pieces together.
Step 2Arrange the fennel in one layer in a saucepan, add the garlic, wine, vermouth, salt, and star anise; bring to a simmer. Cook it covered, with the lid tilted to let some steam out, on very low heat for half an hour or until the fennel is very tender. Check periodically to make sure the liquid isn’t almost gone; if it is, add a little water.
Step 3Discard the star anise and garlic and arrange the fennel on a serving dish. Pour over any pan liquid, plus a couple of glugs of olive oil. Chop a bunch of fennel fronds and sprinkle them over the top.
Substitutions: Artichokes, radicchio, cone cabbage
Level Up: Grill the quartered heads before braising.
Try It With: Anything Italian; swap in mustard or sesame oil for the olive, and it’ll go with almost anything South or East Asian.
Zero Waste: Use the stalks for stock.
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