As Autumn is in full flow and winter is fast approaching I am inspired to make warm dishes bursting with flavour. For this tasty autumn recipe fennel bulbs are braised in white wine, orange juice and vegetable stock. Sprigs of thyme, bay leaves, orange zest and garlic create a full bodied deliciousness.
Fennel bulbs are at their best from the Autumn to early Spring. When eaten raw, fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with an light aniseed flavour. Upgrade your everyday green salad by adding a thinly sliced fennel bulb and tossing it all together. Don’t forget to add the feathery leaves.
Braised fennel is perfect piping hot straight from the stove. However, I had some left over so the next day made a quick and delicious lunch time salad. I sliced the braised fennel and added it to some thinly sliced cabbage, both red and white, and poured the remaining sauce, including the raisins, over the veggies. A few chopped walnuts, more fresh fennel leaves, some snipped chives and voila, the perfect lunch. Oh yes, a slice of whole grain bread too. Yum.
Serve this richly flavoured braised fennel as a side dish or with new potatoes and a lentil salad for the perfect whole food plant based meal.
Preparation & cooking time: 50 minutes
4 large fennel bulbs
Splash of olive oil
4 – 5 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 orange, zest & juice
500 ml, 2 cups vegetable stock
180 ml, ¾ cup white wine
5 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
Handful of raisins
Salt & pepper
What to do
1. Slice the fennel bulbs into quarters and cut away any tough stalks.
2. Add a splash of olive oil to a hot shallow pan and lightly brown the fennel quarters.
3. Peel thin slices of zest from the orange using a potato peeler. Squeeze the juice from the orange.
4. When the fennel quarters are browned add all the remaining ingredients. (Except salt and pepper.)
5. Cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
6. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes until the fennel is tender.
7. Using a slotted spoon remove the fennel and place in a serving dish.
8. Continue to boil the liquid until it is reduced by half, creating a sauce. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
9. Pour the sauce over the fennel and serve.
Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle Tip: Fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients which give it strong antioxidant activity. An important phytonutrient compound in fennel is anethole which is the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel may reduce inflammation and help prevent the occurrence of cancer.