Recipe: Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes & Fennel Sauce

This sauce is a song of summer flavors and it is pliable as all get out. Use it on grilled fish, as we did last night with pan-seared swordfish, or toss with pasta, or drizzle over polenta, or with grilled pork tenderloin.  Think you don’t like fennel?  Think again.  This sauce will prove you deliciously wrong.


  • 2 pints Cherry Tomatoes, de-stemmed and cut in half
  • 3 bulbs Fennel, core removed and sliced into ½-inch strips
  • 2/3 to 1 cup White wine
  • 2/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsps Crushed Fennel Seeds (use end of a mallet or heavy coffee mug to crush seeds)
  • 3 each Shallot cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsps Red chili flakes
  • 4 tbsps Fresh Parsley, minced
  • To taste Salt and pepper


  1. Sauté fennel in 1/3-cup olive oil; when fennel is slightly soft, add 1/3-cup wine and reduce in pan until fennel is completely softened.
  2. In a separate pan, over medium heat sauté’ shallots in 1/3 cup olive oil until shallots are translucent.  Add crushed fennel seeds, tomatoes and red chili flakes, and stir.  As tomatoes break down, add more wine and continue to reduce wine for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add sautéed fennel to tomato mixture and allow to cook down for another.  Garnish sauce with minced parsley and/or fennel fronds.