Feathery fennel leaves accent this stunning combination of white fennel slices and roasted red pepper strips.
2 heads fennel
1 tablespoon fresh fennel leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup water
1 red bell pepper, roasted and cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Trim the fennel, reserving the feathery leaves. Cut across the heads, slicing the fennel into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Separate the rounds into strips. Tear the fennel leaves into small pieces and measure out 1 tablespoon. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the fennel strips and shallot and toss to coat evenly. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds. Pour on the water and reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fennel is crisp-tender. Increase the heat and cook, stirring, until almost all the liquid is evaporated.
3. Stir in the red bell pepper and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish. Pour the cream into the skillet and add the fennel leaves. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the cream is reduced by half. Pour over the fennel and red bell pepper to serve.