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Caramelized Fennel with Manchego, Chili and Almonds

Serves 4

© by John Valls

Chef: Clayton Allen, Soter Vineyards

Wine Pairing: Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir

Caramelized fennel gets topped with Manchego and almonds for an almost luxurious nuttiness that’s perfect with earthy sausages like merguez. Soter’s Pinot Noir brings a balance of dark red fruit and a dusting of earth and spice flavours to this ode to autumn.


  • Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick)
  • Fennel 3 large bulbs, tops removed, cored, and cut into ½”-thick slices
  • Salt
  • Chicken Stock 1 cup
  • Red Wine such as Pinot Noir 1/2 cup
  • Crushed Tomatoes 1 x 8-oz can
  • Aged Manchego Cheese shredded, 1 cup (5 oz)
  • Marcona Almonds chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Ancho Chili Powder 1 Tbs

Cook It

  1. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Stir in fennel and a large pinch of salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Add stock, wine, and tomatoes. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until reduced and thickened.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  3. Sprinkle fennel with cheese, almonds, and chili powder. Bake for 15 minutes, until fennel is bubbling and cheese is golden.

Recipe copyright © 2023 by Soter Vineyards.