Vermouth-Braised Radicchio & Fennel

Browning and then braising vegetables like fennel and radicchio adds sweet notes from the caramelization, while the braising mellows some of the bitter notes in the vegetables. If you can find conical-shaped Rosso di Treviso radicchio, use it, but if not, the round variety called Rosso di Chioggia will work equally well.

Vermouth-Braised Radicchio & Fennel Recipe

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head fennel
1 large head Treviso radicchio
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, skin-on
1 cup vermouth
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the fennel into 4 or 6 wedges, depending on the size of the bulb, trim any fennel fronds and save them for a garnish. Slice the radicchio lengthwise into 4 wedges. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove most but not all of the woody core in both vegetables: the bit left behind will help keep the wedges intact during cooking.
  2. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a 12-inch cast-iron frying pan (we used Butter Pat’s Joan skillet), add the garlic cloves, thyme and vegetable wedges. Brown the vegetables on all sides.
  3. Once browned–about 10-15 minutes–add the vermouth and stock.
  4. Lower the heat and cover with a lid or another frying pan and cook until you can easily insert a knife into the thickest part of the vegetables without resistance, another 25-30 minutes. (The radicchio will cook faster so remove and keep warm while the fennel continues cooking.)
  5. Place the cooked vegetables on a plate. Discard the thyme sprigs. Remove the garlic skin and mash the garlic into the remaining cooking juices.
  6. Stir in the chopped herbs and add a splash more stock if needed. Add the braised vegetables back in and gently turn them to coat in the cooking liquid. Serve warm, garnished with the fennel fronds.

Recipe by Julia Platt Leonard / Photography by Laura Petrilla / Styling by Anna Calabrese Franklin

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