I have just spent the week doing a stage at The River Cafe which was amazing! I absolutely loved it and learnt so much and I now have a million ideas and recipes I want to try, I think I am going to have to have people over for dinner every night so I can get out all the things i've learnt while it's all fresh in my head.
This is just one side dish that was served with spinach, roasted monkfish with lemon and marjoram.
Braising the fennel like this makes it really soft and has the most delicious flavour. You could serve it with anything you like, as a vegetable side or just do a big bowl of it cold with a salady lunch would be perfect.
2 fennel bulbs
1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
chicken stock about 500ml
tbsp picked thyme leaves
Cut the fingers off the fennel and then cut it in half and slice into thickish pieces. take the green hairy bits off the fingers and put aside for later. Chop the fingers in chunks too.
In a heavy based pan with a lid heat up enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously. Add the fennel and cook on a medium heat until they have a golden colour. Then add the chopped garlic, thyme, some seasoning and cook for a minute stirring so not to let it burn.
Pour the stock in and you want enough to almost cover the fennel. Turn the heat down and stick the lid on and leave to simmer gently for about 30 mins until the fennel is soft all the way through. Take the lid off and reduce the stock down so that it is all gone then take off the heat.
Roughly chop the green hairy bit from the fingers and sprinkle on top with a drizzle of good olive oil and serve away.