Fennel and Leeks with Goat Cheese and Dill

This recipe is adapted from “Caramelized Fennel, Leeks & Zucchini Over Quinoa with Goat’s Cheese and Dill” on a website called My Jerusalem Kitchen.  It can be made as a side dish, or served with quinoa or rice.  We made it without the zucchini that is called for in the original recipe. The web site has some photos of the recipe process.


3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 tablespoons oil
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large fennel bulb
1 large leek cut into coins
zest from a lemon
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup dill coarsely chopped
goats cheese for garnishing (optional)
2.5 cup quinoa (cooked quantity) or rice, to be cooked while you are preparing the veggies


Strip off the leafy fronds of the fennel and cut the base off. Slice the fennel vertically into 1/2-inch slices, leaving the slice intact. David Leibovitz’s web site has a great description of how to prepare leeks for this recipe.

In a large frying pan over medium to high heat, heat up about 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Lay the fennel down without crowding and fry for about 2 minutes or until the side has become lightly golden.  Flip and do the same on the other side for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  You may need to cook the fennel in two batches. 

When the fennel is done, use the same process to cook the leeks and then remove them from the pan.  Finally fry the fennel seeds and minced garlic for 30 seconds.  Add all the veggies and the salt and fry for another minute, gently mixing and caramelizing the vegetables. Turn off the heat and add the chopped dill, tossing and tasting to adjust the seasoning.  

Serve the veggies over a bed of quinoa and garnish with some goat cheese and lemon zest.