Scallops and Braised Fennell Reprinted with permission from Marguerite Thomas’ Elegant Peasant Cookbook
2 medium fennel bulbs
3 Tablespoons EVO
3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
¾ cup water
4 Tablespoon sweet butter
1 pound bay scallops (or sea scallops cut in half lengthwise)
½ cup dry white wine
1. Cut fennel in quarters. Place in a heavy skillet with olive oil and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until lightly browned.
2. Add garlic and about ½ cup water to skillet. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, turning fennel occasionally, until it is very tender and glazed. If liquid hasn’t all absorbed at end of cooking time, remove lid and continue cooking over higher heat, watching carefully to prevent burning.
3. Remove fennel and reserve, but do not wash out skillet.
4. Just before serving, reheat fennel if necessary and remove to a serving platter.
5. Add butter to skillet and heat until bubbly.
6. Add scallops and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 to 4 minutes, or just until opaque clear through.
7. Arrange scallops on a platter with fennel, then deglaze the pan by adding the wine and stirring over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, scrapping bottom and sides of the pan.
8. Pour sauce over scallops and fennel and serve immediately.
ADVANCE PREPARATION: Fennel may be cooked several hours ahead of tine and carefully reheated at the last minute.
Serves: 4 to 6
Wine recommendation: Chenin Blanc from France ( such as the Loire Valley) or South Africa; Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; or a gutsy rosé such as Marqués de Cáceres from Spain