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Braised Fennel with Greek Olives & Thyme - Chef Whitney Aronoff | Starseed Kitchen

Braised Fennel with Greek Olives & Thyme

  • Author: Chef Whitney Aronoff
  • 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 67 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


  1. Prepare the fennel by trimming off the fronds. Discard tops and reserve leafy fronds for garnish. Slice bulbs in half from top to bottom.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove the lid and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes so the sauce reduces.
  7. 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.