For a long time I thought I hated fennel because I hate black licorice. I avoided it like the plague then one day at a restaurant I had very thinly shaved fennel with orange segments. My life was changed for ever as I became a fennel lover. Now we eat fennel raw, roasted and with this new recipe braised! Braised Fennel is truly a happy vegetable dish. Fennel really mellows when it is cooked. It has a very slight anise flavor but it becomes a little sweet and makes the perfect week night or special occasion side dish.
I first saw a recipe for Braised Fennel in a Rachael Ray Magazine. I am always drawn to any recipe with fennel in it or that reminds me of an au gratin. I hadn’t tried to braise it before and wondered if it would still become slightly sweet and mellow without roasting. Of course, their braised fennel was done with cream. There is something so luxurious about a braised dish especially one braised in cream. I love the idea of au gratin or a scalloped potato. They all have that braised cream thing going on. They make you think they are going to be so good before you even take a bite. They are like a forbidden fruit to me calling to me. Telling me how good they will taste.
Luckily for me I have discovered So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer. I love this product. It won’t make whip cream but I have had great success in substituting it for cream in baked dishes. I decided to give it a try in this one. I figured as long as it didn’t curdle, I’d be good to go. So I set about making my own braised fennel. I like to cut my fennel on a mandoline so it is thinly shaved. The mandoline makes quick work of the fennel you just need to be sure to use the guard and watch your fingers! That little baby is sharp! Once the fennel is thinly sliced the dish comes together in a few minutes. What more could you want nutritious, flavorful, looks fancy but is totally easy.
Braised Fennel (Serves 4)
Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Braised Fennel in Cream
1 tbsp. light butter or vegan butter
1 fennel bulb
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer
1/8 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese or for vegan substitute – nutritional yeast
- Cut off the fronds on the fennel.
- Cut the fennel bulb into quarters. Then cut out the core from each quarter.
- Using a madoline, cut the fennel into 1/4 inch slices. Use the guard!
- In a large non-stick skillet (that you have a lid for) melt butter over medium high heat.
- Add fennel and salt. Cook stirring occasionally until fennel begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and add the coconut creamer. Stir making sure to scrap up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Bring to a gentle simmer (DO NOT BOIL) and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally and cook until the fennel is fork tender, about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the nutmeg and cheese (or nutritional yeast)
Nutritional value per serving:
Calories 63 Fat 4 grams Carbs 6 grams Protein 3 grams