As regular readers know I am a little partial to fennel – I LOVE it – and am always looking for different ways to prepare it. I was looking through one of my go-to cookbooks – Stephanie Alexander’s, The Cook’s Companion – the other day when I saw this recipe and knew that I had to give it a try and once I tried it, I knew I had to share it with you – it so totally takes fennel to another wonderful level!
Fennel Braised with Balsamic Vinegar & Honey
In Stephanie’s recipe, she used rosemary – I used thyme, because that is what I had and have used it before with fennel and knew it worked.
This is a great side dish to serve with stronger flavoured protein – I served it with pan-fried kidneys and bacon and it was a great match.
4 small fennel bulbs, quartered
2-3 sprigs thyme
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 Heat butter and a good splash of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When butter mixture starts to sizzle, add fennel and cook, turning occasionally and carefully for 15-20 minutes or until brown on all sides. Try to keep the fennel wedges together as much as possible.
2 Add thyme and season with black pepper. Increase heat, add vinegar and cook, turning carefully, to coat for 5 minutes.
3 Drizzle with honey and pour in 1 cup water – to come about one-third up the fennel wedges. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until fennel is tender.
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fennel, rosemary: The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings;
Honey: The Naked Honey Pot – Taradale; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: butter, balsamic
vinegar, black pepper.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe very slightly adapted by Rachel Blackmore
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