This week is all about fennel, so this recipe for braised fennel pretty much jumped off my vegetable recipe board and onto my menu. I discovered fennel when my husband and I were dating. He was at work, I was bored, and I found a recipe online for roast chicken with fennel and decided I wanted to make it for his family while I was visiting. I had never, ever had fennel before, and I thought this was a good idea. Let that sink in! Sometimes…
Fortunately, we all liked the dish, and I have made it many times over the years. But that’s the only way I have ever had fennel. Not that I or my husband are complaining, but you know how I like to expand my horizons. I made another chicken and fennel dish earlier this week. Now comes a dish that’s just fennel.
This is such a pure and simple recipe with complex flavors from the fennel and a decadent touch from the grated cheese! A classic Italian side dish!
There’s not a whole lot to this recipe—just 6 ingredients and half are pantry staples like salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Shopping for the remaining fennel, parmesan cheese, and chicken stock was easy and inexpensive.
I love quick and easy recipes, and this braised fennel recipe didn’t disappoint. I put the chicken stock on the stove to boil and had everything prepped well before I saw bubbles in the pan. Although no times are listed, I expected this dish to be ready in an hour, and I wasn’t far off. I spent a total of 50 minutes on this dish. That includes prep, 8 minutes to parboil, and 30 minutes in the oven to get it to brown a bit.
The number of servings isn’t listed, but each bulb yielded 4 inch-thick slices, and I had enough for 4 meals.
I served this braised fennel dish with a simple lemon chicken. I marinated the chicken breasts overnight using this Lemon Garlic Marinade, then had my husband grill them while the fennel was roasting.
A reader was kind enough to let me know that Sweet Paul Magazine has taken down this recipe. I am posting a re-written version below so it can live on. Enjoy!
Tuscan Braised Fennel
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- large pot
- baking dish or large oven-proof skillet
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3 fennel bulbs
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly coat a baking dish or large oven-proof skillet with olive oil and set aside (cast iron is excellent).
- Scrub the fennel and trim by removing the stalks and fronds, reserving the fronds for garnish. Remove roots, if present, leaving enough of the stem so the fennel retains its shape. Cut the fennel into 1-inch thick slices.
- Add the chicken stock to a large pot and bring to a boil. Carefully add the sliced fennel and parboil until slightly tender, 6-8 minutes.
- Strain the stock, retaining 1/2 cup. Place the parboiled fennel slices into prepared baking dish.
- Pour retained stock over the fennel and top with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with finely chopped fennel fronds for added flavor.
- Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Garnish with additional fennel fronds, if desired, and serve warm.