When I first prepared this wonderful method of cooking fennel, I was gob-smacked. It is that good. I am not given to hyperbole, and I get irritated when recipes suggest that “this is wonderful” or “there is no better way to eat this”, but I am almost inclined to use such superlatives here. OK, I’ll resist, but I urge you to try it.
- 1 fennel (probably enough for 2 people)
- Large knob of butter
- Skillet with lid
- Remove the leafy stalks and discard (or use elsewhere).
- Cut the fennel into quarters.
- Melt the butter over a medium heat. There should be enough to create a bubbling sea of melted butter covering the whole pan.
- Place the fennel in the pan on one of its cut sides and leave it alone for about 3-5 minutes. Turn it over to its other cut side. (There should be strips of chocolate brown running along the exposed side.)
- Add a cup of water to the pan, season with salt, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Check from time to time that it hasn’t dried out completely. If it has, add a little more water.
- Transfer to a plate and pour over any juices that has collected in the pan.
What you should know
There really is no need to remove outer layers from the fennel (unless they are really, really dirty). Don’t cut too much away from the bottom (if any), or the bulb will fall apart.