Sautéed Fennel With Fennel Fronds

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

Ingredients (2-4 servings)
2 large fennel bulbs with stalk and fronds attached (about 1
½ pounds)
3 Tbsp vomFASS San Domenico Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
¼ tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1¾ cups Eola Hills Classic Pinot Gris
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 lemon)
2 Tbsp drained capers
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 
½-inch pieces

Prepare the fennel: 
Cut the fennel stalk and fronds from the bulb. Wipe away any visible dirt with a damp paper towel. Peel off and discard any outer layer that looks woodsy and tough. 
Slice each bulb into 4 wedges keeping the root intact and outer layer on—the root end will help keep it from falling apart. 
Use your hands to pull off the fronds from the stalks. Finely chop the fronds. Thinly slice the stalks. You should have about 1
¼ cups.
You can keep each part of the fennel on the cutting board. The sliced stalks will be used in the sauce and the fronds will be used as garish.
Caramelize the fennel bulbs:  
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the fennel bulbs, cut side down, and cook untouched until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fennel and cook untouched until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the fennel onto a plate and set it aside.
Cook the stalks: 
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, sliced fennel stalks, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
Make the sauce:  
Add the wine, lemon juice, capers, and a few grinds of black pepper, and bring it to a boil. Continue to boil until the sauce is slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to low. Nestle the fennel bulbs back into the skillet with the outer layer facing down and touching the sauce—this layer takes the longest to cook, that is why we want to start with it down. 
Simmer the fennel:  
Cover the skillet and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. You do not need to stir it while it cooks. Flip the fennel bulbs over to the other side and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
Flip the fennel one last time to the side that has not been in the sauce yet and cook until the tip a paring knife can easily pierce through to the center, 7 to 8 minutes.
Finish the sauce:  
Transfer the fennel bulbs onto a plate. Increase the heat to medium heat and add the butter, stirring constantly until melted, about 1 minute. Continue cooking the sauce until reduced by half and thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. 
Pour the sauce onto a serving plate. Place the fennel bulbs on top and garnish with the chopped fennel fronds. Serve hot.

Note:This recipe calls for fennel with the stalk and fronds still attached. If your grocery store sells only the trimmed bulb, don’t fret; it’s still worth making! Simply use dill and celery instead of the fennel fronds and stalk.


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