There's something compelling about the odd bulbous shape of fennel, with its fresh lime green and white flesh, little tufts of hair sticking out from the ends of it's fennel funnels. When I see it come into KPS in a trolley, fresh from the farm, there's little anyone can do to stop me reaching out and grabbing a piece of this curious tasting vegetable whose flavours rarely touched my palette until five years ago. This side dish is not a long bake, but it is robust and sweet, strengthened by the boldness of sage but softened by transparent cooked fennel. Try it with borewors sausage. Or pork chops. Or pork fillet. Or roast pork loin... lots of options!
1 tblsp butter
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
20 sage leaves (fresh)
2 green apples (I used pink lady's and they were fine) - finely sliced
3 tblsp white wine
1 tsp sugar
Melt the butter in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat and add your finely sliced fennel. Sauté the fennel until it's becoming transparent, golden and soft, then add the sage leaves and cook for around a minute. Seas with sea salt and pepper before adding the pepper, white wine and sugar.
Cover and cook for a few minutes until the apples are just beginning to soften and caramelize. Be careful not to let them get too dark or burn.