Recipe: Braised Fennel with Capers and Olives

Fennel Bulb Recipe

Credit: Aurelien Gruicard Flickr

Support a healthy heart during the month of love with this tasty fennel dish.

Fennel is an aromatic herb with a celery-like texture and mild flavor.

High fiber content in this herb helps to lower cholesterol while Vitamin B-6 and folate stop homocysteine from building up in the blood, preventing heart disease and complications!

Fennel also contains a less common mineral, selenium, which has been found to improve your body’s response to infection and prevent inflammation.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Serves 4


4 medium fennel bulbs
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and black pepper
15 large whole garlic cloves, skin on
4 tbsp lemon juice mixed with 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 medium tomato, diced
8 oz cup fresh vegetable stock
1 tablespoon capers, drained
10 large black olives, pitted and chopped in half
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
2 tsp honey
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Yes, this recipe calls for 15 cloves of garlic!


1. First prepare the fennel. Trim off and discard the tops (reserve any leafy fronds for garnish) and cut each bulb in half from top to bottom. You are aiming for thick slices about ¼ inch wide.

2. In a large frying pan heat 2.5 tablespoons of oil on medium to high heat. Add half the fennel with ⅛  teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Cook for five or six minutes, turning once, until brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining fennel.

3. Keep the empty pan on the heat, pour in the remaining oil, add the garlic and sauté for three minutes, tossing occasionally, so the skin gets scorched all over.

3. Lower the heat to medium, carefully (it spits!) add the lemon juice and reduce for a couple of minutes until there are about 2 tablespoons of liquid left in the pan.

4. Add the tomato, ½ cup of the stock, capers, olives, thyme, honey, ¼ teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cook for two minutes, then return the fennel to the pan.

5. Add the remaining stock and cover. Simmer for 12-14 minutes, turning once during the cooking, until the fennel is soft and the sauce has thickened. (You may need to remove the lid and increase the heat for the last two or three minutes.)

6. Place two slices of fennel on each plate, spoon over the sauce and serve with some freshly grated lemon zest. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature.

Here’s to heart-healthy dishes that taste amazing!