Fennel is one of my favourite modern vegetables. I love the aniseedy flavour and I love the versatility of the dense bulbs. I am not sure when it appeared on the scene but it has become almost a staple for me. In summer months very thinly shaved fennel is perfect in the large salads I love to make, especially when it is combined with orange or lemon. It’s wonderful cut into quarters and gently braised in a little butter with white wine or chicken stock. But best of all is when it is cooked slowly and then puréed and served, sauce-like with steak, venison or duck breasts.
- 3 medium fennel bulbs
- 2 tbsps butter
- 3 tbsps water
- 3 tbsps cream
- pinch of fennel seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Slice the fennel bulbs and stalks, removing the hard core and discarding most of the feathery tops.
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and toss the fennel in, coating well. Add the water and bring to a very slow simmer. Cover the pan and cook over a very low heat until the fennel is very tender for about 25 minutes.
Using a blender stick or a food processor, purée the fennel with the cream until it is almost frothy.
Stir in the fennel seeds and pepper, and season to taste with salt. Reheat gently before serving.