Braised Fennel and Tomato

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Serves 4


1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 1/4 cups water

1 large fennel bulb
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground saffron or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 handful fennel greens or flat-leaf parsley


Although the original Braised Fennel and Tomato recipe we came across called for saffron, it’s not an easy cooking ingredient to come by (and it can be a little pricey), so we experimented with smoked paprika and it’s turned out wonderfully – perfect flavours for a cold Winter’s eve.

  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly, drain and place in a medium saucepan together with the water. Bring to a simmer, cover and lower the heat and cook for 40 minutes. Set aside, ready to serve.
  2. Trim the stalks and greens from the fennel bulb. Slice the onions, and mince the garlic.
  3. Mince the greens for a garnish, or if there are none, you can use parsley.
  4. Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise and cut the halves into wedges about 4 cm wide, at the widest part. Halve the zucchini and cut into wedges.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a wide sauté pan over medium-to-high heat.
  6. When hot, add the onion and fennel seeds, saffron/paprika and thyme. Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the fennel and zucchini wedges, and cook them until golden, turning them and the onions occasionally.
  8. Once they are well coloured, add the garlic, stir in the tomato paste, and then add the water and salt & pepper.
  9. Scrape the pan to release the juices, then cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  10. Serve with brown rice and fennel greens or flat leaf parsley.


Hints and Tips

If you don't have saffron or paprika, consider using turmeric for colour - though it will alter the flavour a little.


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