Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
This Pan-Fried Fennel is a flavorful and simple-to-prepare vegetable side dish. It’s a vegan and gluten-free recipe that can be made for weeknight cooking as well as a side to bring to a potluck or gathering. The fennel bulbs and fronds are all chopped up and pan-fried with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a cast-iron skillet.
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Hi Everyone, Pan-Fried Fennel (or sometimes called, “sauteed fennel”) is one of my favorite ways to prepare this plant.
I love how the fennel fronds get crispy, giving this dish a textural aspect.
What is fennel?
Did you know that fennel is a member of the carrot family? Yes, it is!
It’s a flowering plant species that is originally from the shores of the Mediterranean but can be grown now in many parts of the world.
It’s hardy, it has yellow flowers. The whole plant can be eaten. The bulb-like base is used as a vegetable.
What does fennel taste like?
It’s very aromatic and has a distinct anise-like, licorice-like flavor.
In this recipe, I include the fennel fronds too and fry them to be crispy.
What are the health benefits of fennel?
Disclaimer: As always, be sure to consult your nutritionist or doctor when trying something new especially if you have a health issue.
- Fennel has a lot of vitamin c
- a good source of fiber
- supports a healthy heart diet
- may be considered an anti-inflamatory
- may support healthy skin
- may improve symptoms of anemia
When is fennel in season in New Jersey (Mid-Atlantic, United States)?
Fennel is in season in New Jersey in October and November, however, I have gotten young fennel from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share boxes in August/September – so check with your local farm/CSA.
- 1-2 tablespoons regular olive oil
- kosher salt, amount to taste
- fresh ground black pepper
- cast iron skillet
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
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(This recipe was originally photographed on 7/14/2021 and first published on 10/8/2021)
- In a large cast-iron skillet or pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, when the oil is warmed and coating the entire bottom of the pan (move it around with the spatula), add the fennel.
- Cook the chopped fennel for about 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned, add some kosher salt (amount to taste). the fennel should be cooked throughout, fry longer if it needs more time (you can always test a piece), since fennel can really vary in size, the cooking time will vary. As it cooks, adjust the heat to lower or increase it. If the fronds seem done, remove them using tongs. When it's done, remove it to a plate. You may need to cook in batches if the fennel bulbs were large and you have a lot. Make sure to add more oil, as needed every time you add more fennel to cook in the pan. When it's done, season with salt and pepper.
- The fennel flavor intensifies with cooking, so not much seasoning beyond salt and pepper is needed, since it's so flavorful, to begin with, however, you can add some fresh, squeezed lemon juice, optionally, if you wish to brighten up the dish.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 136Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Please note that the Calculated Nutrition is an estimate at best. If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe!