Braised fennel

Fragrant Pernod adds an extra aniseed flavour in this fennel antipasto dish from Aaron Craze
By Aaron Craze
Braised fennel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 3 bulbs fennel
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4-5 strips pared lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, plus extra leaves to garnish
  • 50 g unsalted butter


1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the fennel and trim the base. Cut each bulb in half vertically, the cut each half into three wedges.

2. Heat a little olive oil in a lidded frying pan or casserole and fry the fennel until golden, adding the garlic clove and pared lemon zest to lend a subtle flavour.

3. Pour in the Pernod, then add the saffron and continue cooking until the fennel starts to turn yellow. Add the ground fennel seeds, tarragon sprigs and butter. When the butter has almost melted and the Pernod has evaporated, add enough water to half-cover the fennel bulbs.

4. Cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the water has nearly gone and the fennel is al dente. Season to taste, transfer to a serving platter and garnish with tarragon leaves.

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