This is a truly indulgent way to cook and eat a fennel bulb or two – treat the dish as your meal focal point and have baked potato, polenta or good bread as an accompaniment and maybe some dressed salad leaves. It would also be lovely with fish. If you have fennel fronds with your bulb, reserve them chopped roughly as a garnish. Recipe from Nigel Slater (in ‘Greenfeast’) and he says that this treatment is also good for celeriac, kohlrabi or celery.
- Fennel 750g
- Olive oil
- Double cream 250ml
- Fresh white bread 45g
- Parsley leaves 10g
- Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
- Pine kernels 25g
- Set oven to 200C/Gas 6. Trim the fennel and slice into pieces no thicker than a pencil (the thicker they are, the longer they take to cook).
- Warm a thin layer of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the fennel, a few pieces at a time if there isn’t space for all at once, and let them cook until pale gold. Remove from heat and pour in the double cream.
- Tear up the white bread and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the parsley leaves, orange zest, a little salt and black pepper and the pine kernels. Briefly process to a rough-textured crumb mixture.
- Scatter the seasoned breadcrumb mixture over the surface of the cream. Trickle a little olive oil over the crumbs. Bake for 20-25mins until the cream is bubbling around the edge. If you want, scatter some extra (toasted) pine kernels over the top before serving.