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Fragrant Fennel with Figs and Nuts

You may need 2 fennel bulbs for this recipe, according to the size that is available in your area. Fennel has a very mild licorice flavor that is enhanced when it cooks. So the addition of balsamic vinegar is an excellent addition to soften what some say is an acquired taste. Me? I love the flavor and when cooked as below, I think you will find a new vegetable to add to your diet.

 

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 1 fennel bulb, about 1 pound
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, sliced thin
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1/2-inch segments
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped Mission figs
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, see NOTE
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Fragrant Fennel with Figs and Nuts Directions

  1. Cut stalk and stem from fennel bulb and cut in half vertically. Cut out the inner core and with the flat side facing down, thinly slice each half; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet, or saucepan, over medium high heat. When hot, add sliced fennel, celery, onions, green beans and seeds. Toss to combine, cover and cook 3-4 minutes, or until fennel begins to soften and turn color.
  3. Remove lid, stir in the broth and continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes, or until broth has almost entirely evaporated. Add figs, stirring well. Remove from heat and add vinegar, salt and black pepper. Serve hot.
  4. NOTE: If you would this dish to be brighter colored, simply use white balsamic vinegar.
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