Caramelized Fennel

Have you ever ordered a pizza or sandwich with caramelized onions? They have so much flavor, and they’re so simple to make at home. We’ve had a great year for fennel on the farm, so I applied the same technique to fennel and the results are just as amazing! Toss these flavorful gems with your next salad, add to a sandwich, pizza or flatbread, or slice a baguette for your next party and top them with these and a drizzle of balsamic. I’m sure there’s a dozen more ways to use these and please let us know if you do!

Caramelized Fennel

The fennel cooks down a lot, so if your fennel has been piling up this recipe is perfect. Use this recipe with any number of fennel you have, increasing or decreasing the olive oil as necessary. Start by breaking down the fennel.

Caramelized Fennel

Caramelized Fennel

There’s more than one way to chop a fennel, but I like to remove the tops and bottoms, slice them in half from top to bottom, then quarters. Thinly slice, the core is edible and keeps the slices intact. Once the slicing is done, all that’s left is occasional stirring and for the next 30 minutes or so.

Caramelized Fennel

Caramelized Fennel


Caramelized Fennel

3 small fennel bulbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pinch of kosher salt

Prep the fennel. Take a thin slice off the bottom of the bulb, then remove the stalks and fronds. Slice each fennel into quarters, then thinly slice.

Heat a heavy pot, like a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the olive oil, then the fennel bulbs and pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally, for 20 – 30 minutes until fennel is golden brown and reduced in volume. If the fennel is browning too quickly, just turn down the heat. Keep a close watch at the end of cooking so it doesn’t burn. When it’s just about done add the balsamic vinegar and stir to scrape up any bits from the bottom. Keep stirring until the vinegar is absorbed. Remove the fennel from the heat, let cool, and transfer to a container for storing or use right away.


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