Leeks, Fennel, and Celery Sauteed in Butter and White Wine

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Good Afternoon:

I receieved the inspiration for this recipe from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. I wanted a corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, but boiled cabbage just didn’t interest me. This substitution worked pretty well, if I do say so.

  • 1-2 Shallots
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 bulb of Fennel
  • 5-6 Celery stalks
  • 1/2 to 1 cup White Wine
  • Optional: Fresh Fennel fronds, Thyme, Dill, Chervil and/or Parsley to taste, chopped
  1. Finely mince the Shallots. Trim the roots and green leaves from the Leeks (saving the leaves for stock), split each leek down the middle like a log, slice very thinly, and then wash thoroughly. Slice the Fennel bulb very thinly into roughly one-inch lengths, using whatever technique you prefer (fennel can prove a puzzling veggie to chop). Slice the stalks of Celery very thinly across the grain. Wash the leeks, fennel and celery thoroughly, then leave to drain.
  2. Melt the butter (vegans can substitute margarine) over medium-low heat, then add the shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the white wine, stir, turn up the heat until the liquid bubbles, then let it reduce for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining vegetables, stir, turn the heat back down to medium-low, and saute gently for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the optional herbs. If the vegetables have absorbed all of the liquid, you may serve them as is. If they have not, serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Notes:

  • Slicing thinly is the critical detail; try for 16 slices per inch, but at minimum 8.
  • This probably works best as a side dish for lamb, roast beef, corned beef or ham.
  • Powdered fennel seed is a nice option.
  • Next time, I intend to add 1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced apples. Should complement the fennel very well.

Vonn Scott Bair

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