Braised Fennel Wedges with Saffron, Tomato, Zucchini and Thyme


Last time Dave went to the grocery store he came home with a list of new ingredients he wanted me to incorporate into blog posts. The first one was fennel. I don't think I've ever had fennel before, but I was willing to give it a go.

Recipe from Green Kitchen Stories.

Ingredients
-1 large fennel bulb
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 zucchini
-1 onion, diced
-1/2 tsp ground saffron
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1 clove garlic, crushed
-3 tbsp tomato paste
-1 cup water
-sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-1 handful fennel greens

The fennel is incredibly easy to work with. First, cut off the stalks and greens. Save the greens for later, and add the stalks to your freezer bag of veggie scraps (I save mine in a gallon size freezer bag to use for vegetable stock later). Next, cut the fennel bulb in half, there is a hard inner core, use your knife to remove the inner core and toss that into  your stock bag as well. Now slice the remaining fennel into thin wedges.

Heat the olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, saffron and thyme and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fennel and zucchini. Cook them until golden, turning occasionally to ensure that they are cooked on all sides. 


Once the fennel and zucchini are golden, add the garlic, stir in the tomato paste, and then add the water and salt & pepper. Cover the pan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.





You can serve this with rice, however, we choose to serve it with ramen noodles to give it a little more substance. The fennel had a light flavor, but all of the ingredients paired together nicely and complemented each other. There was a little bit of sauce at the bottom of the pan that I used to spoon over our noodle servings. This is an ingredient I would work with again. 

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