- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch-thick wedges with core attached
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cook haricots verts in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain beans. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels; let cool. Trim stems and set beans aside. DO AHEAD: Beans can be cooked 1 day ahead. Wrap in paper towels and store airtight in refrigerator.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add wine. Return to heat and cook until wine is almost completely evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add thyme sprigs and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover and cook until fennel is tender (but not falling apart) and water is almost evaporated, 12-14 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Let cool. Coarsely grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, place in a resealable freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Set aside.
Add haricots verts to fennel, reduce heat to medium, and gently cook until beans are heated through. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer vegetables to a serving platter and scatter ground fennel seeds over.