Braised Fennel

Recipe by Jarrett

2 fennel bulbs fennel
1 tablespoon finely chopped fennel greens
2 tablespoons olive oil (twice)
1 carrot
1 head broccoli
1 green pepper
1 large or two small leeks (or onions)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme,dill, or oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup water (+ another 1/2 cup or so)

Keeping the root end of the fennel bulbs intact, half each lengthwise. Cut pepper, carrot, broccoli, leeks and any other desired vegetable into very small pieces (diced). Set aside. Mince or slice garlic.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium/high heat. Add garlic and saute briefly, about 30 seconds. Add chopped leeks, saute another 2 minutes. Now add the rest of the chopped vegetables, except fennel, and saute for another 2 minutes. Next move all vegetables to one side of the pan, and add the fennel halves cut side down. Salt and pepper at this stage if desired.
Now pour the cup of water over the whole mix (be careful not to splash!) and then reduce heat to medium and simmer until water has evaporated. Stir the whole mixture up, add another 1/2 cup water and evaporate it off again. When cooked, the fennel will be more tender than when it was raw, and slightly browned on the bottom.

Move all food off pan now onto a serving dish. But don’t wash the pan! Return it to the heat, and scrape all the caramelized fennel and vegetable bits on the pan. Add the wine and another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When wine has reduced by half, add chopped fennel greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and spoon over fennel and vegetables on serving dish. Viola! Serve with rice pilaf or pasta aldente.