Tag Archives: Sicilian dishes

Fennel with Tomatoes, Onion, and Raisins

Fennel with Tomatoes, Onion, and Raisins

One of Italy’s favorite root vegetables, finocchio (fee-no-keeo, a.k.a. fennel) has a wonderfully crisp texture and a flavor that borders on sweet with a trace of licorice.

This tender white bulb can be enjoyed raw for its crisp, juicy texture or cooked in a variety of ways. The most prized fennel originates from the region of Sicily. Fennel is high in vitamin A and is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and calcium.

Ingredients:
6 fennel bulbs, washed
6 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 c. raisins
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
1 t. roasted cumin seeds, crushed slightly in mortar & pestle
2 T. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:
Trim off tops of fennel bulbs, then slice off tough root end. Rinse, then quarter the bulbs and peel off any tough outer leaves. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, boil water. Drop tomatoes into boiling water one by one. After a few seconds skins will pucker and begin to loosen. Remove immediately from water and slide skins off. Chop peeled tomatoes roughly and set aside.

Dry roast cumin seeds over medium-high heat just until aroma is released. Remove and crush slightly in mortar & pestle. Set aside.

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Heat oil in deep pan and add chopped onion, then sauté until the onions begin to soften. Add quartered fennel bulbs and stir and sauté for 5 or so minutes, then add remaining ingredients and stir to combine all ingredients. Cover the pan and simmer the fennel-tomato mixture for 25-30 minutes or until fennel bulbs are easily pierced with a knife.

Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, dress with fruity Sicilian olive oil and serve.