I'm currently enamored with Fennel and often cut it up and add it to my lunchtime salads, but today I wanted to make it a different way to tame it for the rest of the family who are not as crazy about the licorice-like taste as I am. I decided to sauté it in a combination of Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil to give it a higher smoke point and I sliced the Garlic so it wouldn't burn. I finished it with a bit of White Wine. It was so delicious and was greatly appreciated by all my non Fennel loving family members!
Be sure to use a frying pan that is not nonstick if you want to caramelize it properly. I used my trusty All Clad stainless steel frying pan and the Fennel ended up with that golden glow that is the hallmark of good caramelization. All in all it took less than 10 minutes to prepare and that includes slicing the Fennel and the Garlic and cooking it too. It was so easy and so fast and so good that I will be making it often!
Sautéed Caramelized Fennel
2 Fennel Bulbs, top and bottom trimmed and cut into thin slices
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 - 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and slice thinly
1/4 cup dry White Wine
Heat the Oil in a frying pan (not nonstick) and add in the Fennel slices. Cook, stirring often until the Fennel starts to brown. Add in the Sea Salt and the Garlic and continue to cook until the Fennel is golden brown. Then add in the White Wine and cook until the liquid is completely evaporated. All in all it should take about 5 - 6 minutes to cook.
Five Element Analysis
Fennel is one of the few Metal Element vegetables, but because it is caramelized and becomes sweet, as does the Garlic, it also has the properties of the Earth Element. The Olive Oil adds the Wood Element and the White Wine brings in the Fire Element. All that's needed is a main dish from the Water Element, such as Fish or Pork or even some Beans and you will have a balanced meal!