the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “Fennel”

Braised Halibut with Fennel and Tarragon

Main Course Fennel Fish Untested


  • 4 (6-8 oz) halibut fillets, ¾ to 1 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and sliced thin
  • 4 shallots, halved and sliced thin
  • ¾ c. white wine
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh tarragon


1. Sprinkle fish with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over low heat. Place fish in skillet, skinned side up, increase heat to medium, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until butter begins to brown (fish should not brown), 3 to 4 minutes. Using spatula, carefully transfer fish to large plate, raw side down.

2. Add fennel, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Add wine and bring to gentle simmer. Place fish, raw side down, on top of vegetables. Cover skillet and cook, adjusting heat to maintain gentle simmer, until fish registers 135 to 140 degrees, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using 2 spatulas, transfer fish and vegetables to serving platter or individual plates. Tent loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Return skillet to high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over fish and sprinkle with tarragon. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.


Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Main Course Fennel Italian Pasta Sausage


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (JP: reduce to make less spicy)
  • Salt
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and sliced thin
  • ½ c. pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ c. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 oz. grated parmesan (~½ c.)


1. Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.

2. Heat sausage in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook, stirring to break sausage into ½-inch pieces, until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in skillet. Return skillet to medium-high heat, add fennel and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until fennel is tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Push fennel to sides of skillet to create 3-inch clearing; add oil-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine garlic mixture with fennel and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sausage, pine nuts, basil, and lemon juice.

4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; cook until al dente. Reserve ¾ cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta, and return pasta to Dutch oven.

5. Add sauce and reserved cooking water to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.


Spicy Spaghetti with Fennel and Herbs

Main Course Fennel Italian Pasta


  • 1 3-ounce package pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large red jalapeño chiles, seeded, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed, cut into thin wedges with some core attached
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano or Pecorino Toscano cheese, divided


Sauté pancetta in large skillet over medium heat until pancetta is golden. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in skillet. Add garlic and chiles; sauté over medium heat 1 minute. Add fennel; cook until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Mix in broth, 2 tablespoons parsley, lemon juice, and fennel seeds. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until fennel is very tender, 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until tender; drain. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Uncover skillet with fennel mixture and return to high heat. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Add fennel to pasta. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 cup cheese, and pancetta. Add cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Toss pasta; transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons parsley over. Serve with cheese.

Bon Appetit, January 2010

Roasted Fennel and Potato Soup

Main Course Side Dish Fennel Soup


  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 large fennel bulbs, halved, cored and sliced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 TBSP shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated white cheddar or other white cheese
  • S & P


Heat 1 TBSP each butter and oil in heavy soup pot. Add potatoes, toss to coat, and season with S & P. Cook over medium-low heat until tender and beginning to caramelize, adding more butter or oil if they seem dry. (Aim for some browned potato bits on bottom of pan.) Add wine, and stir to deglaze.

Meanwhile, put fennel on cookie sheet, lightly salt, and toss with 1 TBSP olive oil. Spread in a single layer and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until tender and brown around the edges. Add to soup pot with stock and cook over low heat.

Meanwhile - again - saute onion and shallot in remaining olive oil until edges start to brown. Stir in garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add to soup pot.

Add milk, cream and cheese and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Puree either in batches in blender or with boat motor. Thin with water or stock to desired consistency. Serve hot garnished with fennel fronds.

Variations: Top each bowl with 1 TBSP cooked, crumbled spicy Italian sausage (we did this – sooo good) or chiffonade of raw baby kale. For vegan, omit milk, cream, and cheese and use vegetable stock.

Fennel Mussels with Piquillo Rouille

Main Course Fennel Mussels



  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. fish stock or clam broth
  • large pinch saffron threads
  • one 1/4-inch thick slice of peasant bread, crust removed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 jarred piquillo pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt


  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads of fennel, cored and diced, plus 1/4 c. chopped fronds
  • 1 med. onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 c. Pernod or absinthe
  • 1 1/4 c. fish stock or clam broth
  • 4 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. chopped parsley
  • salt


  1. Make the rouille: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 2 tbsp. of the fish stock at high power. Crumble in the saffron and let cool. In a large bowl, soften the bread in the remaining 1/4 c. of fish stock.
  2. In a food processor, puree the soaked bread, egg yolk, piquillo, garlic, and lemon juice until smooth. With the machine on, slowly pour in 1/4 c. of the oil and the saffron fish stock. Slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 c. of oil. Season with cayenne and salt.
  3. Prepare the mussels: In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the diced fennel, onion, and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 7 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the Pernod and boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pot, until they open, 5 minutes. Pile the mussels in a bowl; discard any that don’t open. Stir the butter into the broth, add the fennel fronds and parsley; season with salt. Pour the broth over the mussels and serve with the rouille.

Food and Wine, April 2010

Corn and Fennel Ragu

Side Dish Corn Fennel Untested Vegan Vegetarian


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups finely chopped fennel, fronds chopped and reserved
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups corn kernels (from about 6 ears)


1. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and fennel. Season with cumin, mustard seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes more. Add 1 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the corn mixture and liquid to a blender and purée. Strain the pure,é pressing the solids; discard the solids. Pour the corn purée back into the skillet and simmer to a ragu consistency, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve with the gently smoked salmon.

New York Times Magazine

Sausage and Lentils with Fennel

Main Course Fennel Lentil Sausage


  • 1 cup dried lentils (preferably French green lentils; 7 ounces)
  • 4 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium (3/4-pound) fennel bulb, stalks discarded, reserving fronds
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet Italian sausage links
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


Bring lentils, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender but not falling apart, 12 to 25 minutes.

While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice and chop enough fennel fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds, and remaining teaspoon salt. Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly prick sausages in a couple of places with tip of a sharp knife, then cook sausages in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.

Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve cooking water. Stir lentils into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook over moderate heat until heated through. Stir in parsley, pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Season with vinegar and salt.

Cut sausages diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve lentils topped with sausage and sprinkled with remaining tablespoon fennel fronds. Drizzle all over with extra-virgin olive oil.

Gourmet, January 2007

Fennel Spice Rub

Miscellaneous Fennel Seasoning


  • 1 cup fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt


Put the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a heavy pan over medium heat. Watch carefully, tossing frequently so the seeds toast evenly. When light brown and fragrant, pour the seeds onto a plate to cool. They must be cool before grinding, or they will gum up the blades.

Pour the seeds into a blender and add the salt. Blend to a fine powder, shaking the blender occasionally to redistribute the seeds. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dry place, or freeze.

Michael Chiarello, Napa Style

Forever Roasted Pork

Main Course Fennel Pork


  • 2 medium onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 pounds pork leg or shoulder, at room temperature
  • About 1/4 cup fennel spice rub


Thinly slice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 1 minute. Add the sage and cook until the onions cease throwing off water, about 3 minutes. Add the water, cover, and cook until the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and saute until the onions are very soft and the pan is dry again, about 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Peel back the pork skin and spread the onions directly on the fat layer. Fold the skin back over the onions and tie closed with kitchen string. Season well all over with the fennel spice.

Arrange the meat on a rack in a roasting pan (or using the Cocorico, see below) and cook until the meat is very tender, 6 to 8 hours. It is ready when it pulls away easily if picked at with a pair of tongs. It is often easiest to cook the meat overnight, or put it in the oven in the morning and let it cook all day. It does not need to be attended.

Michael Chiarello, Napa Style