← Back to Search Results
Braised Finocchio with Olive Oil Recipe-2766

Photo by: Joey De Leo
Comments: 0


Although there is an English equivalent for finocchio-Florence fennel- for many cooks it's the Italian word that has achieved everday usage. Fennel is related to anise, but its cool, mild aroma has none of its kin's sharpness. People eat finocchio raw, in salads, but it is an exceptionally fine vegetable for braising, sauteing, gratineing, and frying. The bulbous base is the part that is used, while the stems and leaves are usually discarded. When wild fennel is called for but not available, finocchio's leafy tops are a tolerable substitue.

Yield: For 4 servings


  • 3 large finocchi (Florence fennel) OR 4 to 5 smaller ones
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


1. Cut the finocchio tops where they meet the bulb and discard them. Detach and discard any of the bulb's outer parts that may be bruised or discolored. Slice off about 1/8 inch from the butt end. Cut the bulb vertically into slices somewhat less than ½ inch thick. Wash the slices in several changes of cold water.

2. Put the finocchio and the olive oil in a large saucepan, add just enough water to cover, and turn on the heat to medium. Do not put a lid on the pot. Cook, turning the slices over from time to time, until the finocchio becomes colored a glossy, pale gold and feels tender when prodded with a fork. Bear in mind that the butt end of the slice should be firm compared with the softer upper part of the slice. It should take between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on the freshness of the finocchio. If while cooking you find the liquid in the pan becoming insufficient, add up to 1/3 cup water. By the time the finocchio is done, all the water must be absorbed. Add salt, toss the slices once or twice, then transfer the contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.

Variation with Butter and Parmesan: Omit the olive oil in the ingredients list of the preceding recipe, and add 1/4 cup butter and 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Follow the cooking procedure described in the recipe above, substituting butter for the olive oil. When the finocchio is done, sprinkle with salt, add the grated Parmesan, toss three or four times, then serve at once.


When and how to buy: The best season for finocchio, when it is juiciest and its fragrance is sweetest and freshest, is from fall to spring, but it is also available in summer. Italians distinguish between male and female finocchio, the first with a stocky, round bulb, the latter flat and elongated. The "male" is crisper and less stringy, and it has a finer scent, qualities that are particularly desirable when it is to be eaten raw. For cooking, the flatter bulb is acceptable, but as long as it's equally fresh, the thicker, rounder one will always taste better.

© 1992 Marcella Hazan

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving

214kcal (11%)
302mg (13%)
18g (28%)
2g (12%)
0mg (0%)
12mcg RAE (0%)
21mg (35%)
86mg (9%)
1mg (8%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
Free Activity Kit for Love Monster and the Last Chocolate!

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
hudson-valley-mediterranean-the-gigi-good-food-cookbook Hudson Valley Mediterranean...
by Laura Pensiero
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
chez-panisse-fruit Chez Panisse Fruit
by Alice Waters
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
baked-new-frontiers-in-baking Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
le-bernardin-cookbook Le Bernardin Cookbook
by Eric Ripert, Maguy Le Coze
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
usa-cookbook U.S.A. Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?