Roman-Style Braised Fennel

Roman-Style Braised Fennel

Fennel is a crunchy, assertively anise-flavored vegetable that mellows and sweetens when cooked. Here, the vegetable is prepared in the style of carciofi alla Romana, or braised whole artichokes, which is a simple preparation of simmering them in aromatic olive oil until incredibly tender. The braising liquid is infused with bright lemon, fragrant garlic and fresh herbs, which impart the fennel and shallots with layers of flavor. This versatile side dish can be served warm or at room temperature, and leftovers can be chopped and tossed with spaghetti and Parmesan for an easy meal. The unused fennel stalks can be chopped and sautéed as part of a vegetable soup, and the fronds can be used in place of dill to make gravlax.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a 12-inch high-sided skillet, melt butter over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add oil and garlic, and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add fennel, wine, lemon juice, oregano, parsley and 1½ cups of water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high, stirring to evenly coat the fennel in the liquid. Arrange the fennel in an even layer.
  2. Step 2

    Cover, reduce heat to medium and braise until fennel is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring and flipping halfway through.
  3. Step 3

    Transfer fennel to a serving platter, and spoon over the shallots and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve warm or at room temperature.