I think fennel has gone to the top of my list of favourite vegetables (nudging courgettes and then runner beans into second and third place respectively). I can’t seem to get enough of fennel at the moment.
I’ve been making a traybake most nights for dinner at the moment to save time on cooking. This is because I’m really busy with my jewellery business Arrowsky Designs (like one of Santa’s elves I’m working hard on commissions for presents) as well as my day job. So a traybake, where you throw everything in and let the oven do the work, is so convenient.
I’ve cooked fennel with chicken and Quorn sausages recently but it’s also brilliant as the central ingredient in a crisp winter salad.
The secret to cooking fennel is to cut off and discard the tube bits as they can be so chewy. I’ve used a very generous portion of nuts and seeds, including pine nuts, which provides protein as well as being crunchily delicious.
I think you need to be generous with seasoning for this recipe. I used plenty of ground black pepper along with my current favourite salt – Himalyan pink salt (it’s so pretty). I used red cos lettuce but any crunchy salad leaves would do. To dress the salad I used mayonnaise from a jar for the dressing but for a vegan version just use a vinaigrette or vegan dressing. I found I didn’t need anything else with this salad – no carbs necessary. It was filling enough.
- 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs per person
- 1 large courgette
- Plenty of nuts, seeds (I used sunflower seeds) and pine nuts
- Salad leaves eg cos lettuce
- Olive oil
- Salad dressing
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Wash and roughly slice the fennel and courgette, add to a roasting tray, pour over about a tablespoon of olive oil, season and mix well.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Add the nuts, seeds and pine nuts and cook for a further 10 minutes until slightly brown.
- Mix with salad leaves and dressing.