3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
1 large fennel bulb
3 large leeks
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted or oil cured olives
1 lemon or teaspoon of red wine or apple cider vinegar
2 ounces goat cheese, feta, or ricotta salata
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the fronds off the fennel close to the bulb. Trim the root by slicing off a little of the bottom. Set the fennel bulb on the root end and cut in half from top to bottom. Stand one half on the root end and slice down into ¼ -inch slices. If you have a thick piece at the end, cut it into ¼ -inch thick pieces. Repeat with the other piece. Set aside.
- Cut the roots off the leeks at the base. Remove the dark green upper portion of the leeks (this and the fennel fronds can be frozen and used for a vegetable stock or soup later). Slice the leeks into 1/4 inch-thick rings. Leeks can be very sandy so be sure to rinse them well in a bowl of cold water if needed. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with the butter and sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the fennel to the pan in one layer and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the fennel pieces over and scatter the leeks on top of the fennel.
- Add ¼ cup of water and a good pinch of salt and cover the pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add the cherry tomatoes and the olives. Cook uncovered until any remaining liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the cooked vegetables onto a warm platter and top with the cheese and parsley as garnish. Drizzle with any remaining liquid from the pan. Serve immediately.
Serve with fish, chicken, or pork.
To make a tasty appetizer, serve the vegetables hot or room temperature on toasted bread.