Finocchio – what do you do with it?

by Michelle

Without a doubt, there are vegetables that need to be prepared correctly or they taste terrible. Fennel or is one of them.

Finocchio – pronounced like Pinocchio, the Walt Disney puppet – when freshly picked, thinly sliced and served raw is delicious dipped in a little extra virgin olive oil with sea salt. How often do we have the opportunity to eat ‘just picked’ fennel?


A truly Italian technique for cooking vegetables is to first braise the veg in olive oil and then finish with a long slow cook in water. It transforms the taste from barely edible to delicious. It allows the sweetness of the fennel to develop by absorbing all of the liquid.

Braised Fennel

serves 6

3 large fennel, tops removed and bulbs cut into eights

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat then add fennel and garlic…season with salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute fennel until it starts to brown…about 10 minutes make sure you stir constantly

Reduce heat and continue cooking for 20 minutes then add boiling water to cover vegetables

Continue cooking over low heat until water is absorbed and fennel is easily pierced with a fork…about 25 minutes

Finocchio is delicious with all meats. It can be served warm, at room temperature or cold with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Give this unusual veg a try. I am sure you will love it as much as I do!

Thanks for reading.