Braised Fennel with Cumin & Ginger

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Preparation info

  • For

    Six

    Salad Starters
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

Serve this as a salad on a hot day drizzled with olive and walnut oils, or serve hot in winter with roast cod or leg of pork. For the best flavour choose firm, pale green fennel bulbs. Often all you’ll find are the darker green bulbs, but as these sometimes have a ropey texture, make a point of searching out the younger ones that haven’t sat around too much. If you’re lucky enough to find bulbs with the fronds still attached, keep them on and roast with the fennel in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 heads of fennel (use only 4 if they’re large)
  • 50ml ( fl oz) lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 100ml (fl oz) virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 medium leek, sliced finely and washed thoroughly to remove grit
  • 2 fingers of fresh ginger, peeled and finely julienned
  • 500ml (18fl oz) dry white wine

Method

Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Trim the ends off the fennel and cut each bulb in half lengthways. Then, lengthways again, cut each half into quarters and toss them with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and put in a ceramic roasting dish.

Heat the oil in a 2 litre (3½ pint) saucepan and, when it’s hot, add the cumin, fry for 10 seconds, then add the leek and ginger and stir well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the leek is just beginning to colour, then add the wine. After bringing to the boil, pour the contents of the pot over the fennel and seal with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes to brown the fennel.