Pic of Pan-fried fennel and balsamic vinegar

Pan-fried fennel and balsamic vinegar

Show ingredients

Pan-fried fennel and balsamic vinegar

Side Serves 2 20 min
This warm side dish works equally well cold, with butter instead of oil. The aniseed of fennel mellows and sweetens when it's cooked. This goes well with fish and chicken, or could be tossed into a salad.


  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp butter (or 2 tsp oil if serving cold)
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    Trim the fennel of stems and feathery leaves, reserving the leaves. Trim the root as little as possible.
  • Step 2

    Cut the fennel into ½ cm slices from root to tip so that some of the slices remain intact, attached to the stem. Blanch the fennel in boiling water for about 3 minutes until just tender and then drain well.
  • Step 3

    Heat the oil and butter or oil alone in a heavy frying pan and add the fennel slices. Fry on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until beginning to colour. Lift slices onto a serving plate, leaving the fat in the pan. While the pan is still hot, add the balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble briefly.
  • Step 4

    Add salt and pepper to the fennel and pour over the pan juices. Roughly chop the reserved fennel leaves and scatter over before serving. If eating cold, a few shavings of Parmesan are a good addition.

You may also like…