Yey, I have a crate of fennel! 😀 So now the fennel indulgence can begin… I just wished they left the stalks longer so that you get more of the aromatic green feathery bits!
The first thing I made was a fennel & potato bake. Most recipes I’ve seen with fennel either use a tomato or a cream base. I usually find cream too heavy, so I tend to go for the tomato base. I just got some more veg from the market which I thought would complement and not overpower the lovely taste of the fennel – at least if I just used little bits of them. They were: celery, parsnip & carrot. I also used garlic and dried chilli flakes.
Lots of fennel (including the ‘feathery bits’)
Carrot, parsnip & celery (don’t use too much of those, otherwise they ‘kill’ the fennel taste)
Crush (with the flat side of a knife blade) & chop garlic.
Heat oil and move the above vegetables about in it until they give off a nice aroma. Add peeled tomatoes or tins of tomato and maybe a little tomato puree. Add chilli flakes (you could add a bit of basil or other Italian herbs if you wanted, but be wary of not killing the fennel’s own flavour), salt and pepper and stir.
Heat the vegetable mixture and transfer it to an ovenproof dish with a large surface. Spread the mixture evenly, thinly slice some potatoes and arrange them on top. Cover with grated cheese (if you happen to have parmesan, also sprinkle some of that on top). Leave in oven until the desired softness/chewiness. The result should look a bit like this: