To many the Fennel Bulb makes us a little uneasy - what does it go with? How do i prep it? I must admit before i ventured out into the big wide world i had only eaten the leaves...now i use it raw in salads, slow cooked with ginger and lemon, baked with potatoes and cream added to my fish stews, roasted with my belly pork....i think you get the picture of just how versatile and yummy it is!
If you manage to get hold of a fennel bulb with the leaves attached, remove them by cutting off the stalks on a angle down from the centre just above the bulb (i do this to both sides so the fennel bulb has retained its shape). To prepare the bulb - there are so many ways to cook fennel, you can cut from top to bottom so it is in two. Or if the bulbs are large trim off the bottom ever so slightly as you want to keep the base on so the fennel doesn't fall apart. Now cut the fennel into even sized wedges which is great for this dish or if you want to braise it with a little verjuice, olive oil and ginger. You can slice it thinly which is great with a dressing (lemon and extra virgin olive) drizzled over and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes. Perfect on a sunny day as a refreshing little nibble with drinks.
FENNEL WITH BUTTER AND MILK
4 Large fennel bulbs cut lengthways
30g Parmesan or Pecorino, finely grated
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over high-heat. Add the half the fennel and coat with the butter, cook until just golden (5-7minutes). Remove the cooked fennel from the pan and repeat with the remaining fennel, once they have gone golden add the milk and 80 ml water, cook until the fennel is tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and let sit for a minute or two.
Fennel is the perfect partner with pork or fish.