This side dish is a mix of sweet, bitter, crunchy and candied. The licorice-like flavors of the fennel combined with the tart, slightly bitter lemon make for a nice contrast in flavors and textures. This unique dish is great paired with seafood.


  • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulb cut lengthwise through the core into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds discarded
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

Additional Information


In a large skillet, combine ½ cup of the sugar and the water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the fennel and fennel seeds, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet or a sheet of wax paper to catch any drips. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the slices.

Set up 3 shallow bowls. Place the flour in one, the egg mixture in another, and the panko in the third. Dip the lemon slices in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the lemon slices and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and tender. Sprinkle with the salt and serve the fennel and lemon slices hot.

As featured in the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.

by Josh and Brent

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