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Braised Fennel (Finocchio Brasato)

You can enjoy this dish slightly brothy, or lightly caramelized by continuing to simmer the fennel after it is tender until all the stock evaporates. If you are serving the fennel with a grilled piece of fish or meat, keep it nice and juicy. On the other hand, if you are serving the fennel as a contorno with a piece of meat or fish that has its own sauce, then cook off the liquid and serve the fennel dry.


  • 2 bulbs of Fennels

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Salt

  • freshly ground White pepper

  • .66 cup chicken stock


  • 1.

    Cut off the stalks flush with the tops of the bulbs. (Reserve the stalks for vegetable soup or boil and mash them along with potatoes. Save the leaves to flavor soups.)

  • 2.

    Turn the bulbs cut side down and cut them into quarters through the cores. Remove the tough outer layers from the pieces, then cut out the cores. Slice the pieces crosswise into ¾-inch strips.

  • 3.

    Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until foaming. Scatter the fennel pieces over the butter, season them lightly with salt and pepper and cook, tossing and stirring, until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes.

  • 4.

    Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

  • 5.

    Lower the heat so the stock is simmering. Cover the pan and cook until the fennel is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • 6.

    During the last few minutes, remove the lid from pan so about half the liquid evaporates.

  • 7.

    If you’d like to serve the fennel ‘dry’ and lightly caramelized, continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled off the fennel is lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

  • 8.

    Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.

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Posted by NickReport
My kind of cooking - let the ingredients speak for themselves. I served it as a side to a large baked Snapper. Along with a fresh salad of late autumn rocket, cos & tomatoes from the garden it was the perfect foil.
Lidia is one of my favourite Italian-Americans, and the story of her and her family's 'escape' to the US towards the end of the 2ndWorld War is incredibly inspirational. She's a gem!
Posted by Thais5Report
I just pulled up a patch of fennel from my garden; cleaned and trimmed it down to its very young bulbs... looking forward to using this recipe! Seems lighter than the milk or cream sauce versions. Might add some white wine to the simmering and grated pamesan as garnish though. Bon apetito pronto!
-Hilo Hattie
Posted by Alice61Report
I agree with all of the above entirely! Such a tasty and warming accompaniment to any winter meal.
Thanks Lidia
Posted by Alice61Report
I agree with all of the above entirely! Such a tasty and warming accompaniment to any winter meal. Thanks Lidia
Posted by CaliforniaReport
Such a simple recipe but so tasty. I loved it. Served with oven baked barramundi and dill. I'll definitely be cooking this again