Other ways with fennel
Braised fennel gratin This is a great use for a large knobbly fennel bulb that has got away in the garden. Cut the fennel bulb (about 600g) into thick wedges and place into an oven-safe frying pan. Add ⅓ cup water or stock, dot with 30g butter, and season well. Cover and cook over a moderate heat for 15-20 minutes until the fennel is tender and the moisture has evaporated. Top with a mixture of 1 cup breadcrumbs, 50g melted butter, 50g finely grated parmesan and 1 teaspoon oregano. Bake at 190°C for 10-15 minutes until golden. Use fennel in place of onions in cooking If you are not a fan of onions or avoid them for dietary reasons, thinly sliced or finely chopped fennel can often be used in their place. This works particularly well for Italian cuisine or similar Mediterranean recipes such as pasta sauce, risotto and tomato-based dishes. Shaved fennel in salads I save smaller fennel bulbs for adding to salad and use a mandolin or sharp knife to thinly shave. Pair with oranges and other citrus, kohlrabi, cabbage, spring herbs and salad greens. Serve with a simple dressing of juice of half a lemon, pinch of salt and sugar and ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil. Stir to combine and drizzle over the salad. Extra fennel ideas include using it as a pizza topping; adding to a tray of roast vegetables; munching on small bulbs while sitting on the garden step; using fronds and flowers in salads; or add to vegetable stock. NICOLA GALLOWAY is an award-winning food writer, chef and author of four cookbooks. She regularly teaches workshops around New Zealand on sourdough baking, fermenting and preserving. She lives in Nelson with her family on a quarter-acre with fruit and nut trees, vegetable gardens and free range chooks.