Garlic-Braised Fennel

Garlic-Braised Fennel
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 bulbs fennel (about 3 lbs.), stalks discarded and fronds reserved (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • Coarse salt


Cut off three 1/2-by-2-inch strips of zest from the lemon. Halve the lemon and squeeze out 1 tbsp. juice. Set aside. Halve the fennel bulbs lengthwise. Place each half cut side down and cut lengthwise, through the core (to hold the pieces together), into 4 wedges (for a total of 24).

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. EVOO over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and cook, turning the fennel as it colors, until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup water, the tomatoes, lemon zest, fennel seeds and 1 tsp. salt; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil, cover and cook until the fennel is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and remaining 1 tbsp. EVOO, bring to a boil and cook until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with the fennel fronds, if using.