Braised Fennel with White Wine

Photo: Simply Recipes
Fennel is a versatile vegetable that is often looked over for being too tough. Braising is a great way to soften this hearty root vegetable known to aid in digestion. The acidity & fruitiness of the wine compliments the aniseed flavored fennel and with a good drizzle of olive oil it finishes this dish perfectly.  Serve with meat!

Braised Fennel with White Wine
finocchio al vino bianco

1 large fennel cut into wedges (keeping the center core intact)
2 cloves of garlic
few glugs of olive oil
pepper flakes to taste
glass of white wine
salt & pepper
aromatics optional: lemon zest, orange zest, fennel seeds, herbs, chilies ... you get the point, anything you like.

In a pan on low heat, add a few glugs of olive oil and sweat garlic until lightly golden, then discard the garlic. Raise the heat add the fennel and sautee 1-2 minutes on each side to get color.
Season with salt & chili flakes to taste.
Add in aromatics of your choice. (Don't over do it - a sprig of rosemary, a twist/zest or two of lemon or just a couple juniper berries, we still want the flavor of the fennel to come through.)
Reduce heat to low. Add in wine & cover.
Braise on low heat until tender, about  20-25 minutes.
It may be necessary to add in a bit of water if it gets too dry.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil atop.

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