Braised Fennel with Tomatoes, Garlic, & Capers

by Katherine Deumling

This is richly flavored and quick to make. Enjoy it with a few salads for a light dinner or alongside any grain dish.

Serves 4

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut top to bottom into 1/2-inch planks

  • Salt

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons capers, well rinsed and chopped up a bit

  • 2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar

  • 3/4  cup chopped tomatoes, fresh, roasted or canned (roasted will impart the richest flavor but all are good)

  • Chopped fennel fronds for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot add the fennel slices in a single layer – you may have to do this in batches, as all slices likely won’t fit into one pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and cook, covered, keeping the heat fairly high, for about 3-5 minutes until nicely browned. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes until the other side is browned as well. Remove from the pan and set aside and finish cooking the remainder of the fennel.

Once cooked, add all the fennel back to the pan, then add the garlic, capers, onions, vinegar and cook, uncovered, stirring often for about 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and turn the heat up a bit more. Cook, for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced and have nicely glazed the fennel. Taste, adjust seasoning, garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve hot or warm.

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