Braised fennel with lemon thyme

Braised fennel with lemon thyme

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
2 large fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
75ml dry white wine
100ml Chicken and veal stock
or 100ml Vegetable stock
1 garlic clove
1 lemon
2 small lemon thyme sprigs
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Trim the roots of the fennel bulbs but leave them intact, then cut the fennel vertically through the root into 6–8 wedges, depending on size.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a casserole and, over a medium heat, lightly brown the fennel wedges in batches. Add the wine and stock, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
  4. Bash the unpeeled garlic clove with the flat side of a large knife and add it to the casserole. Finely pare a long strip of zest from the lemon, using a vegetable peeler, and add to the casserole with the lemon thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid or foil and cook in the oven for 30–35 minutes, or until the fennel is tender. Use the point of a cutlery knife to test the fennel; it should meet with no resistance.
  6. Remove the garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Taste the braising liquor: if it is too weak, reduce it until the flavour intensifies. Adjust the seasoning.


  • Braised fennel with pancetta and Parmesan: Use thyme rather than lemon thyme. Add 1–2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese to 1 quantity ciabatta and pancetta crumb and sprinkle over the braised fennel before serving. Place briefly under a hot grill to allow the Parmesan to melt a little, if you like.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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