Braised fennel and tomato

A gorgeous, easy wintery dish, this recipe can be taken in all sorts of directions. Serve  it as a side dish with the lasagne and winter salad as I’ve suggested, or as a main meal  on soft polenta with a green salad. Try it tossed through pasta or spooned over toasted sourdough and topped with a crumble of feta cheese.


1/4cup (60 ml) olive oil

6 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into quarters

2 brown onions, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped

1/4cup (45 g) green olives, pitted and roughly chopped

1 cup (250 ml) white wine

2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins whole peeled tomatoes, or 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) ripe, fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/4cup (45 g) capers, rinsed

1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves


Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the fennel quarters, in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat a little and add the remaining olive oil. Cook the onion
for 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, anchovies and olives and cook, stirring often, for a few more minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half.

Return the fennel quarters to the pan, add the tomatoes and capers
and simmer for 40 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.


Images and recipes from A Basket by the Door by Sophie Hansen, photography by Sophie Hansen and Lina Hayes, Murdoch Books, RRP $45

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