Italian Braised Fennel and Leeks

By • September 27, 2011 • 19 Comments



Author Notes: About a week and a half ago fisheri posted a recipe which he called "A Great Pasta, Waiting for a Recipe"
http://www.food52.com/recipes/14460_a_great_pasta_waiting_for_a_recipe
where he describes a pasta recipe mentioned in David Tanis' Heart of the Artichoke listing ingredients but no amounts. I was intrigued, played around with the ingredients and made a bowl which as fisheri described was "subtle and sublime". A couple of days later I added diced fresh fennel, leeks, tomato and chicken broth and made another pasta. I was hooked on the flavors and so today put everything together for braised fennel and leeks. I'm a very happy camper! Thanks fisheri.....now I have three wonderful plays on this!
inpatskitchen

Food52 Review: This dish packs a flavorful punch. Fennel and leeks are simmered in the oven until they are soft and sweet, making a great canvas for the punchy, anchovy-spiked sauce. Fresh oregano adds an herbal note and red pepper flakes add heat. This recipe takes some time to come together, but the hour-long braise gives you time to make a main dish (or enjoy a glass of wine, like we did!). Each bite is a combination of sweet, savory, and salty--but it's the anchovies that leave a lasting impression on the palate. They really make this dish shine.Brianne Du Clos

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 anchovy filets, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 nice size leeks, white and pale green only, halved lengthwise (about 6 to 8 inches long)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh fennel bulb, cut into pieces about 3 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide
  • 2 tablespoons panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  1. In a large saute pan heat the oil and add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes and add the ground fennel seed.
  2. Add the tomato, oregano and anchovies and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and continue to simmer for 3 or 4 more minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper if desired.
  4. Line the leeks in a 9 x 11 inch shallow baking dish. Spread the fennel slices over and then pour the sauce over all.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
  6. Raise the oven temp to 400F and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
  7. Combine the panko and cheese, sprinkle over the casserole and bake (at 400F) another 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Comments (19) Questions (0)

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6 months ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

Although it bears not a shred of resemblance to the photograph illustrating the recipe, this is a five star dish. One of the best, easy to assemble dishes I have made - one I would be proud to serve to guests and absolutely fall on the ground delicious. The anchovies are genius and give a depth to the vegetables which are pleasant on their own, but which achieve new heights with this simple addition. I don't usually rave about recipes but this was so easy and so delicious, both right out of the oven and the next day, that a friend who was invited over for dinner insisted on taking the leftovers home because they were fearful it wouldn't be around the next day. An absolute keeper.

Dscn3274

6 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much ihaventpoisonedyouyet! So glad you and your friend enjoyed..I'm no photographer and the pic of the finished dish just didn't come out right!

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over 1 year ago lloreen

I made this twice this week and it is a huge hit! I left out the cheese and Panko and it is delicious as is. I used Aleppo pepper, which has a lovely smokiness. Great recipe.

Dscn3274

over 1 year ago inpatskitchen

Thanks lloreen! I'm so glad you enjoyed!

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over 2 years ago Sagegreen

Yum!!!

Dscn3274

over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

It IS yummy! Thanks Sagegreen!

Photo_squirrel

over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

this is just brilliant AND I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!!!!! pat, you might also enjoy a recipe related to yours in the fennel seed/tomato/garlic aspect, but very different too-- It's braised mushrooms. In my 30 yr catering co, I made a vegetarian hors d'oeuvre out of it by piping a sundried tomato butter on a crostini and topping it with these mushrooms. Since you are a great dabbler, maybe you'll look at the mushroom recipe and riff!
best,
mindy

WINE BRAISED MUSHROOMS

3/4 C Oil

5 ½ Lbs Sliced Mushrooms

salt and pepper

3 chopped Onions

1 ½ T Minced Garlic

3 T Fennel Seeds

3 T Basil

2 T Marjoram

2- 2 lb Cans tomatoes drained and crushed

5 C Red Wine

1 C Balsamic Vinegar


Saute mushrooms in oil with the salt and pepper to taste cook until liquid is evaporated. Saute onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients and cook down before adding mushrooms.

Yield 12 cups

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over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thank you so much Mindy! The mushrooms sound fabulous...I will make them soon...You should post this for all to see! And if you do make these please let me know what you think..

Photo_squirrel

over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

you know, pat, i THOUGHT these were a silver palate recipe but unless they're in their very first, whitre cover book, i'm wrong , and i can't remember where else they come from. phooey. i always want to give credit to the creators of any recipe.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Ohhhhhhhhhh.

Dscn3274

over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I almost forgot that this had anchovy in it...I'm working on another "riff" of this for dinner tonight!

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

Love this!

Dscn3274

almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Oh thank you gingerroot! The flavor is pretty assertive but oh so good!

Nog

almost 3 years ago Niknud

So I've been going through the recipes of the past couple of days and they are all so amazing! Anchovies are great - they can add so much to so many dishes This one looks just wonderful.

Dscn3274

almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much!

Buddhacat

almost 3 years ago SKK

Fennel and leeks - two favorites! Anchovies - what a great idea!

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almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thank you SKK...I really think the anchovy and ground fennel make this dish!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmmm. Love the anchovies along with all you other beautiful flavors. I can practically taste it now.

Dscn3274

almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks! I know... the anchovies are a perfect enhancer!!