Fennel With Tomatoes, Onions, and Raisins

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6 fennel bulbs, washed
Water sufficient to cover the tomatoes
6 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sicilian olive oil, to taste

• Trim off the tops and the tough root ends of the fennel bulbs. Rinse. Quarter and peel off any tough outer leaves. Set aside.
• Boil the water in a small saucepan. Add the tomatoes one by one. After a few seconds, the skins will pucker and begin to loosen. Remove immediately from the water and slide off the skins. Chop the tomatoes roughly and set aside.
• Dry-roast the cumin seeds over medium-high heat just until the aroma releases. Remove from the heat and crush slightly using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
• Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the onion. Sauté until softened. Stir in the quartered fennel bulbs, tomatoes, and cumin. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the raisins. Stir to combine.
• Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fennel bulbs pierce easily with a knife.
• Add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Sicilian (fruity) olive oil and serve.

Makes 3 to 4 servings

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