Recipe: Braised Fennel (or Fennel-Scented Celery) with Olives

More

If you can't find fennel, this recipe transforms ordinary branch celery. I also sometimes use this as a sauce for pasta, adding some shaved Parmesan or ricotta salata to make it complete.

Serves 4

    • 1 to 2 fennel bulbs or a head of celery (8 to 10 stalks), about 1 1/2 pounds
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed or coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 cup black olives such as Calamata, Nicoise, or oil-cured Moroccan, pitted
    • 1/2-inch strip lemon zest, finely slivered (optional)
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste

With a vegetable peeler, remove any fibrous strings from the fennel or celery stalks. Slice the vegetables lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices crosswise into inch-dice.

In a 10-inch skillet, over moderate heat, combine the olive oil and onion. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the diced fennel or celery, the water, and salt. For fennel, add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed; for celery, add 1 teaspoon of the seeds. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved fennel or celery, the olives, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

From This Author

Just In