I’m slightly obsessed with star anise at the moment! It’s so pretty and so tasty. Warm, a little sweet, a little spicy. I have several bunches of carrots from the CSA, and this seemed like a nice thing to do with them. Simple, satisfying, the sweetness of the star anise complements that of the carrots, but lets them shine in all their carrotyness. You could make this without the fennel, but it seemed to fit so perfectly, being another fall veg with a sweetish edge, and matching nicely with the flavor of the anise. This is good warm when you make it, and cool as a little salad the next day.
Here’s MF Doom’s Star Anis, another one of my favorites!
1 medium bunch of carrots, washed or peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices (about 2 cups when cut)
1/2 fennel bulb. Halved and cut in long 1/2 inch slices
2 T butter
1 T brown sugar
2 bay leaves
3 star anis (3 stars of anise?)
1/2 cup white wine
salt & pepper
1. Warm the butter and sugar in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the bay leaves and the star anise. Stir them for a minute or two, and then add the vegetables
2. Cook them for about 10 minutes, until the pan dries out a bit and the vegetables start to brown. Resist the urge to stir constantly. If you let them sit, they will actually turn nice and brown.
3. Add the wine, and stir everything together. Add water to cover (about 1/2 cup should do it) Cover the pan partially, and cook until the carrots and fennel are tender but still crunchy. Remove the veg from the pot, add a little water, and cook until the liquid is thickish and syrupy. Pour it over the carrots and fennel (discarding the bay leaves and star anise). Add salt and plenty of pepper, and serve!