Spicy Pan Braised Fennel
with Sausage & Butter Bean Mash
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- 1 fennel bulb with fronds
- 2 vegan Italian sausages, plastic casing removed, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (divided)
- 13.4 oz butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp tomato powder
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (divided)
- ¼ cup crispy onions
- Salt and pepper*
- 2 tbsp olive oil*
- *Not included
- For full ingredient list, see Nutrition.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut fennel stalks off the bulb, and pick the wispy fronds off the stalks. Finely chop the fennel fronds. Cut the fennel bulb in half, remove the v-shaped core, and slice each half into four pieces for a total of eight pieces. Add sliced fennel, ½ tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt to one side of a baking sheet and toss. Add sausage and ½ tsp olive oil to the other side of the baking sheet and toss. Roast until fennel is tender and sausage is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. TIP: Save the remaining sausage for your own use.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add just half the garlic and cook until lightly browned 1 to 2 minutes. Add just half the fennel fronds, butter beans, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp salt, and cook until the water is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer beans to a medium bowl. TIP: We will reuse this skillet in a later step.
Add tomato powder, gochujang, cayenne pepper, ½ tsp salt, and 1 cup water to a medium bowl and whisk. Set aside. TIP: If you prefer less spice, use less gochujang and cayenne pepper.
Wipe the large nonstick skillet clean and heat it over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic, onion, and thyme, and cook until onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add roasted fennel, gochujang tomato sauce, and just ⅓ cup cooked butter beans. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the remaining cooked beans, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp olive oil to a food processor. Blend until smooth, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. TIP: The butter bean mash should be the consistency of hummus. If it’s too thick, add 2 tbsp water.
Divide butter bean mash between plates. Top with braised fennel and sausage. Garnish with remaining fennel fronds, lemon zest, and crispy onions. Dig in!