Slow pan-fried fennel


A super simple recipe recommendation this week – just four ingredients – from Doug, who leads the Regather farm team out in the Moss Valley. He has done an astonishing job in the last couple of years, transforming the field into a beautiful, fully-fledged organic market garden. It’s always lovely to see the crates of Regather farm produce arriving at HQ ready to go straight out to box customers. Doug raves about this fennel side-dish from Nigel Slater (from the book ‘Real Cooking’): “It does induce pan lickings, such is its deliciousness.”


  • 2 bulbs of fennel
  • butter
  • a lemon
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cut the fennel in half from stalk to root, then again into quarters. Melt enough butter in a shallow pan to make a deep pool, about 75g, then add the fennel.
  2. Fry on a moderate heat for a minute or two and then turn. Pour in enough water to come half-way up the fennel. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add a little salt.
  3. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook over a low heat until the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and turn up the heat. The buttery cooking liquid will now start to evaporate. When only a few tablespoons of liquid are left (shake the pan from time to time), scatter over a handful of grated Parmesan.
  5. Put the lid back on for a minute or two, no longer, then eat as the cheese starts to melt, not forgetting to spoon over the remaining concentrated pan juices.