Braised Fennel with Greek Olives & Thyme
Easy one pan braised fennel with smashed garlic, Greek olives, capers and fresh thyme
I adjust the dish to work with my Vegan and Omnivore clients, by swapping vegetable broth for chicken bone broth. Use whichever works best for your diet.
My first week of culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute had us braising vegetables. Attending a healthy cooking school, it only made sense we would be braising vegetables. The process sounds more complicated than it is.
Braising refers to cooking in broth. It is an excellent health supportive technique and a great way to reduce the amount of oil you cook with.
HOW I PAIR BRAISED FENNEL TO COMPLETE THE MEAL
I prepare braised fennel for all my clients. Their dietary preferences follow the whole spectrum, from Vegan to Paleo, Lectin-Free and Keto. I pair this fennel dish in the following ways to complete the meal.
Try incorporating this recipe the following ways:
- With a hearty grain such as spelt or farro
- With a side of blanched red or rainbow chard
- With blanched and sautéed broccoli raab
- With hanger steak or a New York strip steak
- With rotisserie chicken and a side of mashed potatoes
- With broiled salmon filets and wild rice
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FENNEL
I’ve always loved how the fennel bulb is shaped like the heart. It’s a versatile vegetable, as we use the bulb, fronds and seeds in all different ways of cooking and spicing our food.
Here are just some of the health benefits of fennel to keep in mind.
- Naturally warming to the body
- Supports the bladder, kidneys, spleen, stomach and liver
- A yin and chi tonic
- Supports digestion and lung health
- Contains the antioxidant flavonoid quercetin and is therefore anticarcinogenic
LIKE THIS DISH? TRY PAIRING IT WITH THESE RECIPES
- Black Lentil & Pomegranate Salad
- Baked Chicken Thighs with Herbs de Provence Chicken
- Roasted Rainbow Carrots
- Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken
Using large fennel bulbs? Add an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time so the fennel cooks through and is soft. You want to easily be able to slice the cook fennel with a traditional dinner knife.
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Braised Fennel with Greek Olives & Thyme
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2–4 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Healthy
Easy one pan braised fennel with smashed garlic, Greek olives, capers and fresh thyme. Pair with hearty grains or a piece of protein to complete the meal.
- 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 medium tomato, large diced
- 1 cup bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp capers, drained
- ¼ pitted Greek olives
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme leaves (about 6–7 sticks)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup organic ricotta cheese
- Grated lemon, to garnish ricotta
- Minced flat leaf parsley, to garnish
- Prepare the fennel by trimming off the fronds. Discard tops and reserve leafy fronds for garnish. Slice bulbs in half from top to bottom.
- In a large pan (with a lid), heat 2 tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Add the fennel and cook till it has a good sear, about 5 minutes. Flip fennel, so both sides get browned, cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the fennel and set aside on a plate. Add the smashed garlic cloves and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let garlic cloves lightly brown. Add lemon juice and red wine vinegar (carefully, it spits). Let liquid reduce in pan till there is about 2 tablespoons left of the liquid.
- Add half the broth, tomato, capers, olives, thyme, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes so the liquid starts to reduce.
- Add the fennel bulbs face down. Add the remaining stock, cover with a lid, and let simmer for 10 minutes, turning fennel once during the cooking so both sides soften.
- Remove the lid and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes so the sauce reduces.
- Add 1 fennel to each plate, spoon over the sauce. Garnish with ricotta, fresh lemon zest and minced parsley to garnish.
I adjust this dish to work with my Vegan and Paleo clients, by swapping vegetable broth for chicken bone broth. Use whichever works best for your dietary preferences.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Whitney Aronoff, a Holistic Chef based in Laguna Beach, California. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Communications, and went on to the health supportive culinary school, The Natural Gourmet Institute, in New York City. I work as a personal chef and teach cooking classes, with a focus on healthy, whole foods cooking.
My goal is to help people feel their best by sharing the delicious, healthy recipes I prepare weekly for my clients. I want you to have the energy to live your best life and fulfil your dreams. As we become more conscious and make more quality food choices, our body, mind, soul and the planet benefits.