It is funny how some vegetables can be drastically different depending how they are prepared. Raw, fennel bulbs bring a crisp, fresh touch to salads. Their anise flavor is bold and invigorating. They should be used in moderation as their strong aroma can easily overpower a dish. Cooked, they become sweet and melt in the mouth. They are great on their own, or aside braised/grilled/roasted meat or baked white fish (halibut for instance).
Count one small fennel bulb per person. One small yellow onion and 1 tbsp butter for 2 bulbs.
- If sold with branches, cut off the branches. Cut each bulb in half. Core. Rinse. Slice crosswise into 1/2 to 1/3 inch (1 cm) strips.
- Heat up the butter with a splash of sunflower (or other high heat, mild flavored) oil in a frying pan, until bubbly. Oil will prevent the butter from burning.
- Add the sliced onion, reduce to medium-high heat and toss to coat with butter. Sauté for a few minutes until translucent.
- Add the sliced fennel bulbs, toss.
- Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, tossing from time to time. Reduce heat if necessary. Add liquid (water or white wine) if dry. Cook 5 more minutes without a lid.
- Season with salt and pepper. Serve.