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Olive Oil Braised Potato and Fennel

Olive oil braised potato and fennel

Olive oil braised potato and fennel

It’s no secret I’m a fan of fennel. The evidence is the number of recipes in my archive that feature fennel seed and/or fresh fennel bulb. Fresh fennel is grown somewhere in Australia all year round so it’s never really out of season. The price drops as the weather cools in reaction to the increased abundance of supply.

This is a slightly modified recipe from Marcella Hazan’s “The Classic Italian Cookbook.” I’ve replaced the celery she used for thickly sliced fresh fennel bulb and adjusted the seasonings a little. The recipe was super simple to prepare and the finished dish highlighted the quality of the freshly dug potatoes I used. The olive oil had taken on the subtle aniseed flavour of the fennel creating a delicious dressing for the simple potatoes.

I give the Italians credit for knowing how to simply but masterfully cook vegetables with skill and care. Served beside pan fried fish fillets, this Olive Oil Braised Potatoes and Fennel was the perfect accompaniment.

Olive Oil Braised Potatoes and Fennel

550g fresh potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

2 bulbs of fresh fennel

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

sea salt

black pepper

Scrub the potatoes clean but do no peel them. Cut into large chunks.

Cut the tops from the fennel and save a few green fronds for garnish.

Discard any bruised parts of the fennel then cut the bulb into 2cm thick wedges.

Put the potatoes, fennel, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a wide pan and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes.

Bring the pan to the boil, cover tightly, reduce the heat to a high simmer then cook until the potatoes are done when tested with a skewer.

Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.

Turn up the heat under the pan and reduce the braising liquid until all that remains is olive oil.

Return the potatoes to the pan, toss in the oil, cover and reheat.

Check the seasoning, transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with greens from the fennel frond.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

21 comments on “Olive Oil Braised Potato and Fennel

  1. Mae
    June 1, 2017

    Fresh dug potatoes !! Fresh fennel bulbs !! So many good things you have.

    Best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

  2. scarletclark
    June 1, 2017

    Love fennel and potato on a plate, but oddly I’ve never done both together in a dish. What a superb idea xx

    Like

  3. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    May 28, 2017

    Yum! I actually have fennel in the garden too 🙂 I usually use it in salads so good to have a reminder about how lovely it is cooked until tender.

    Like

  4. Francesca
    May 26, 2017

    A perfect ‘contorno’. Making this tonight to go with flathead.

    Like

  5. dinnerbysusan
    May 26, 2017

    I wish more people would try fennel. This is one of my favorite pairings!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 26, 2017

      Fennel is gaining in popularity here, although still not mainstream. There are so many ways to enjoy fennel, I love it with potato too 😀

      Like

  6. Lisa @ cheergerm
    May 25, 2017

    Put simply, just lovely.

    Like

  7. Eha
    May 25, 2017

    I look at the inviting dish and smile: its recipe surely follows the KISS principle and proves it right !

    Like

  8. Linda Duffin
    May 25, 2017

    I could happily eat that, hot or cold. What a lovely summery dish … can’t wait for my fennel bulbs to plump up. At least I hope they do, they’re a bit hit and miss as a crop in our garden. Lx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 26, 2017

      Good luck encouraging the fennel to grow plump. I hadn’t thought about serving the olive oily potatoes and fennel cold but I think it would be equally delicious

      Like

  9. Lovely! I much prefer fennel bulb to celery. I I have to use celery, I much prefer the leaf rather than the ribs which seem to me to be rather bland and stringy. Fennel and potato (and simple Italian cooking techniques) sounds a superb combination. Fennel is a winter crop here in Greece, and we grow it in the garden. I also love the fronds and use this extensively in cooking, too – particularly in winter stews.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 26, 2017

      Remember this for fennel season Debi, it was much better than I anticipated. I’m planning on making it again tonight

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rupali
    May 25, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Like

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