Fennel, Plate 288 from "A Curious Herbal," Published 1782
Fennel, Plate 288 from
'A Curious Herbal'...1782

Elizabeth ...
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Hearts of Fennel Braised in Vegetable Coulis



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Various Green & White Vegetables
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Hearts of Fennel Braised in Vegetable Coulis

Coeurs de Fenouil Braisés dans leur Coulis
Roger Verge's Vegetables in the French Style icon
by Roger Vergé, 1994, Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

For 4 servings
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes

4 fennel bulbs (2 pounds total)
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup to 1 cup chicken stock
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 black Niçoise olives, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh coriander
[cilantro] leaves

Trim the fennel by cutting of the stalks and the bottom. Remove the fibrous outer skin with a vegetable peeler, and cut each bulb in half lengthwise.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees [F].
Peel the onion and cut it into thin slices. Wash the red pepper, remove the stem, seeds, and internal membranes, and cut into thin circles. Peel and lightly crush the garlic.
Put the olive oil into a heavy casserole over low heat. Add the onion and
red pepper and cook gently, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes; do
not let the vegetables brown.
When the onion and pepper are growing tender, add the garlic and arrange the fennel halves in the casserole. Add the chicken stock and salt to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes. Remove their stems and place them in
boiling water for 15 seconds (or a little longer if they are not ripe). Cool
them in a bowl of cold water. The skins should slip off easily. Cut them
in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds and liquid. Cut the flesh into
coarse dice. Add the tomatoes and the sugar to the fennel, and return to
the oven for another 20 minutes.
When they are done, remove the fennel halves from the casserole with a slotted spoon and arrange them in an oven-proof gratin dish or baking dish; keep warm. Put the remaining vegetables and juices from the casserole into
a blender or food processor and purée them. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper, then strain over the fennel. Spread the pitted olives over
the fennel and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Chop the fresh coriander coarsely and sprinkle it over the fennel when
you are ready to serve.

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