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An overhead shot of a small green plate with caramelized fennel topped with roast pine nuts and crumbled feta and fennel fronds scattered across with a bamboo fork sticking out at the top, next to it is a small tan bowl filled with crumbled feta on top of a light green backdrop.

Caramelized Fennel with Feta and Pine Nuts

Dorothy Porker
A vegetarian recipe for caramelized with feta and pine nuts, inspired by Ottolenghi. Perfect at all temperatures for spring, summer, fall and winter.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 1 -2 people

Equipment

  • Large frying pan or skillet
  • Large plate

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large bulb fennel cut into 1 cm/ 5 inch slices, fronds set aside
  • 2 x 2 T - 20 gr butter
  • 3 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 T - 25 gr sugar
  • 1 t - 5 gr fennel seeds ground works too in a pinch, but not as nicely
  • 4 oz - 120 gr feta crumbled, you can do this by stabbing it with a fork and then twisting the fork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c - 33 gr pine nuts dry roasted in a skillet or non-stick frying pan to bring out the flavor

Instructions
 

  • Melt 1 T - 20 gr of butter and 3 T - 45 ml of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan.
  • Once the butter stops bubbling, place as many slices of fennel into the pan as it will comfortably hold (usually about half of the fennel) and roast for 3-6 minutes on each side to get a decent amount of color on them. This will go a lot quicker if you resist the urge to move them around.
  • When the first batch of fennel has browned nicely, set it aside on a large plate or in a bowl, add 1 T - 20 gr butter again and fry the second batch as before.
  • Remove the remainder of the fennel when ready, leave the pan on the heat and add 2 T - 30 gr sugar, 1 T - 15 gr fennel seeds and a good helping of salt and pepper. Shake the pan vigorously for 30 seconds or so to help the butter, oil, fennel seeds and sugar divide evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  • Now place all the pre-cooked fennel back into the pan and let sit on each side for 2-4 minutes until you get some REALLY good caramelisation going on.
  • Remove from the pan and back into your large bowl or plate and mix with the finely chopped clove of garlic while still hot.
  • Depending on the weather and the season, serve immediately or leave until cooled covered in a healthy dose of the crumbled feta, dry roasted pine nuts, chopped fennel fronds and more seasoning to taste.
Keyword fennel, feta, ottelenghi, pine nuts, pinenuts, Salad