Thursday, 18 February 2016

balsamic, black pepper and garlic braised fennel stew with tomato

Simple and satisfying: a balsamic, black pepper and garlic braised tomato-fennel stew.

Fennel is not a vegetable that I use often, as I tend towards cheaper produce, but every now and then, it begs to be consumed. Raw, it is crisp and fragrant in a salad. Braised, it boasts a voluptuously meaty presence in a stew.

For this recipe, I went for the latter as I embark on the type of kitchen adventure that I find to be most enjoyable: scanning my available ingredients, and throwing them together to create a tasty dish.

And tasty it was: I uncovered a fennel bulb from the fridge, picked a vine-ripened tomato from the garden, and introduced the pair in a pot. The fennel softens to a more yielding disposition, while the tomato breaks down, embracing the garlic, black pepper and balsamic vinegar to form a luscious base. This is an easy way to prepare fennel, one that rewards you greatly with only minimal effort.

Braised fennel in tomato, garlic, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

braised fennel stew with tomato, garlic, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar
(serves 1, multiply the ingredients to create more servings)

1 medium to large fennel
1 medium to large tomato
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Chop off the fennel stalks, and cut the fennel bulb into eight wedges. The stalks and bulb are the parts that are to be braised. Reserve the fennel fronds to use as a fresh garnish.
Cut tomato into eighths.
Warm up olive oil in a saucepan over low heat, and gently fry garlic and black pepper in olive oil for 2 minutes or until the garlic is soft and golden. Add tomato and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Add fennel, and cook the mixture for an additional 2 minutes before incorporating balsamic vinegar, salt and water.
Bring the mixture to boil over high heat, then reduce the temperature, cover the saucepan, and allow the ingredients to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fennel is tender-firm. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Pour the stew into a serving dish, and top it with fennel fronds.
Serve this fennel stew by itself, with crusty bread, or stir through some freshly cooked pasta.

This delicious braised fennel stew is quick and easy to make!


  1. Oh wow, looks and sounds delicious ... and simple too which is always a bonus!

    1. It's always great when something so simple can be so delicious! :D

  2. i'm pretty obsessed with balsamic vinegar and love it in dishes like this! i've actually never cooked with fennel but your stew looks hearty and delicious!

    1. Thanks, I love this stew! Let me know if you try it sometime. :)


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