Tasty braised fennel recipe that comes together easily with little prep and hands-free cooking making it perfect for a busy weeknight.
Braised fennel and citrus make for a good combination. The tangy citrus and anise flavor of the fennel are both lifted by the roasting process rendering a well balanced savory-sweet finish.
You’ve seen in previous posts my affinity for the vegetable fennel. It’s pretty much in the weekly rotation.
Let me be clear, I like fennel, but my wife, Mrs. Foxxy Brown (not the rapper) loves fennel especially roasted fennel, hence the weekly menu appearances.
This recipe is so simple. It requires very little prep and is your basic set (oven temperature) and forget it recipe. The key is in how you cut the fennel. For best results leave the base intact, by halving the fennel lengthwise and then slicing lengthwise into 1-inch thick slices. The fennel is seasoned with a soul food triumvirate of salt, pepper, and paprika while the juice from the roasted citrus bleeds into the fennel adding to the overall sweetness.
Whenever I make fennel this way, the best part is actually eating the roasted citrus slices. I always put a few slices to the side for my son and me to have an extra dessert of roasted citrus slices. The heating intensifies their sweetness…
braised fennel cooking tips
- I used blood orange as my citrus since it was available, but typically use regular oranges or ruby red grapefruit
- Fennel naturally has a strong licorice type flavor that mellows quite a bit during cooking so don’t be concerned by its bitter reputation
- Choose fresh fennel with stalks that are bright green and straight.
- Current cooking time will net a softer fennel texture-wise, so if you prefer fennel a bit more crisp, lessen cooking time 5-10 minutes.
- You can find fennel pretty much all year round, but I recommend early spring when they are in season
making braised fennel with citrus
If you make this braised fennel dish please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large citrus like grapefruit or blood orange (cut into thick slices or wedges)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove the stems of the fennel and slice the bulb in half lengthwise. With the cut side down, slice the bulb vertically into 1/2-inch-thick slices, cutting right through the core. Spread the fennel slices on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper and toss with your hands.
- Put 1-2 citrus slices aside and reserve for later. Add the remaining slices to the baking sheet
- Roast the fennel slices for about 1 hour, turning them once after 30 minutes, until the edges are crisp and brown. During the last 10 minutes of cooking squeeze reserved grapefruit juice over fennel.
- Remove from the oven and cover. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.