Dishing Up the Dirt

Braised Fennel with Hazelnuts

This simple side dish gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from Taylor. And I’m right there with him. Honestly, I can’t wait to share this as a “recipe of the week” with our CSA members later this spring when they receive fennel in their veggie boxes. This fennel isn’t from our farm but from the other side of the valley where there hasn’t been snow covering the ground for months on end. I couldn’t resist picking it up when I finally broke free from the farm and I’m so happy with how this turned out. This is a great side dish to bring to a dinner party or potluck. It’s great eaten alongside roasted chicken, fish or my favorite–served with warm lentils and a fried egg. With a simple sear in butter the fennel caramelizes which mellows its licorice flavor. Topping it with toasted hazelnuts, parmesan and parsley takes things to a whole new level. Finished with a touch of lemon zest and viola! Best side dish ever.

I hope you all enjoy this simple recipe as much as we do.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.

Braised Fennel with Hazelnuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
  • 3 medium sized fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch thick wedges
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup veggie stock
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add the fennel wedges and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the wine, stock and thyme. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Continue to cook until the liquid thickens up a bit. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme sprigs.
  2. Heat a small dry skillet over medium heat. Add the hazelnuts and cook, shaking the pan a few times, until they darken up a bit and become fragrant. About 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and when cool enough to handle roughly chop them.
  3. In a small bowl combine the chopped nuts, parsley, parmesan and lemon zest. Toss well.
  4. Plate the fennel and sprinkle with the nut mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *Cooking times will vary from kitchen to kitchen

Leave a Reply

3 thoughts on “Braised Fennel with Hazelnuts

  1. Sally says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for giving it to us I always sear mine in olive oil then add 16 garlic cloves, cook for a minute or two add 1C veg stock and some pepper. Simmer for about 15m covered. Then add a can of chopped tomatoes and boil vigorously to reduce. 10m. Served with lots of parmesan. But your’s is definitely up next ! Hope spring is near for you both.

    1. Andrea says:

      sounds fabulous!!

  2. Carlos At Spoonabilities says:

    Beautiful dish! I never tried Fennel alone, but this recipe looks appetizing

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