I say YUMMO in true Rachel Ray fashion. Fennel and parsnips are two of my favorite vegetables during the fall and winter. This fennel recipe I gleaned from the November 2011 issue of the Rachel Ray Magazine. A little something different for your Thanksgiving sideboard. Bon Appetit!
Garlic Braised Fennel
1 large lemon
3 Bulbs fennel (about 3 lbs) stalks discarded and fronds reserved (optional)
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can (14.5) diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1. Cut off three 1/2 by 2 inch strips of zest from the lemon. Halve the lemon and squeeze out 1 tablespoon juice. Set aside. Halve the fennel bulbs lengthwise. Place each half cut side down and cut lengthwise, through the core (to hold the pieces together), into 4 wedges (for a total of 24).
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and cook, turning the fennel as it colors, until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
3. Add 1/2 cup water, the tomatoes, lemon zest, fennel seeds and 1 tsp salt; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil, cover and cook until the fennel is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, bring to a boil and cook until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with the fennel fronds, if using.