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Skillet Baked Fennel Recipe

Skillet baked fennel

Fennel is one of the few vegetables that I have no real clear idea on how I would cook it, or use it in a recipe.  Most vegetables that we grow in the garden I already have a clear idea of how I would like to use them. By the time they are ready to harvest I am keenly anticipating the meals I will use the vegetable in.  My lack of direction/ideas with fennel had to be quickly rectified when the crop in my garden neared harvest time!  

I asked on my Facebook page for some hints and ended up using a mix of some of the comments to create this dish.

In my opinion a good side dish can make or break a meal. A good side dish can morph into a main or make an otherwise boring meal interesting and fabulous.

Fennel growing

The flavor of this dish surprised me as it was divinely subtle. I have previously only eaten fennel raw. In it’s raw state I found the aniseed flavor to be quite strong, which is probably why people use it shaved or very thinly sliced.

Via this recipe I found that when fennel is baked it adopts a much more subtle flavor.  This side dish is richly flavored. It makes a simple piece of grilled chicken or fish very special.   

More fennel will be going into our garden as soon as possible now that I have this recipe up my sleeve. 

Fresh Fennel harvest

Skillet Baked Fennel Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • 3 cloves garlic - chopped finely
  • 4 small anchovy fillets - chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 medium fennel (plus leaves chopped) - cut in half and then into quarters to make 8 pieces
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 12 olives - no pits
  • 120 ml passata
  1. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat and add the garlic, anchovy and chilli flakes (if using)
  2. Reduce the heat slightly and then stir until the anchovy dissolves and is highly fragrant
  3. Add the fennel pieces and turn to coat in the garlic and anchovy in the pan
  4. Heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  5. Add the wine and reduce it by half
  6. Add the olives and passata and some of the chopped fennel leaves (about 1 tablespoon)
  7. Remove the skillet from the stove top and add it to the oven to bake for 30 minutes
  8. Serve with fresh parsley
Do you have a side dish that you love to serve to “jazz up” an otherwise boring meal? OR do you have a vegetable you would like to try but have no idea what to do with it? What is it? Please tell me in the comments below.





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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Laney | Crash Test Mummy May 28, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Our family loves Fennel. We grow it too and the kids will go out into the garden and eat the tops like a snack! I’d like to give Jerusalem artichokes another go – I found them pretty bland and I’m sure they need to be jazzed up!

    • Kyrstie Barcak May 29, 2014, 9:40 pm

      The tops of the fennel are so fluffy I can see the appeal for the kids. I will have to give that a try 🙂
      I haven’t tried Jerusalem artichokes. I hope you haven’t just planted the seed for a new plant I need to fit into the garden 😉

  • merryn@merrynsmenu May 29, 2014, 2:00 pm

    What a gorgeous idea. I love the addition of olives and anchovies, this would really balance the strength of the fennel flavour. My husband and I love fennel but the kids aren’t so keen on it. They will eat it finely sliced in a salad with cabbage, oranges, red onion and pine nuts. Otherwise fennel is nice sliced under a baked fish with lemon juice, oil and a few cherry tomatoes. I love this fennel recipe, thanks Kyrstie 😀

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