Pan-roasted fennel with white wine sauce

By Wendy Andresen | Mar 13, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

My husband graciously offered to do the grocery shopping. I never know exactly how that’s going to go, and this time he returned with a large fennel bulb instead of the requested bok choy (I know, what?). So once again I was faced with the chef’s challenge and had to figure out what to do with it. When I served this dish, we had a good laugh over how delicious the “bok choy” was. This is the kind of unusual, elegant dish that would be served as an appetizer for two at a high-end restaurant. I suppose if you wanted to serve it on a beautiful platter instead of in a sauté pan, you could just toast the breadcrumbs separately and toss them on afterward instead of broiling.

Ingredients:

1 large fennel bulb

1 Tbsp. canola oil

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1/4 cup white wine

2 Tbsp. golden raisins

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. seasoning mix, such as Mrs. Dash

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

1. Remove the fennel stalks, reserving a few fronds for garnish. Cut the bulb in half from top to bottom, then cut each half lengthwise into four pieces.

2. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until it sizzles, then add the fennel pieces in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes or so on each side until nicely browned.

3. Add the garlic, raisins and wine and cook for a few minutes until the wine is reduced by half.

4. Add the broth, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the fennel can easily be pierced with a fork.

5. Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, olive oil, seasoning mix, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl and set aside.

6. Uncover the sauté pan and cook until only a little liquid remains.

7. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. You probably won’t need all of it, so save some aside for topping your favorite casserole.

8. Place the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned.

9. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

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