Bringing real baking into your home with deliciously simple recipes.
Prep 25minBake 45minMakes 4-6 serves
If you’re not a big fan of fennel then you may just have to reconsider your standing once you have tried this dish. Baked fennel – particularly when teamed with the saltiness of anchovies, the crunch of crisp breadcrumbs and the savouriness of fresh thyme – is one of the best side dishes winter has to offer.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the anchovies dissolve. Add 30g of the butter and the breadcrumbs and toss until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Transfer to a bowl, toss through the parsley and set aside.
Add the remaining oil and butter to the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Add the fennel in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden and starting to soften.
Transfer the fennel, in a single layer, to a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity dish, and pour any pan juices over the top. Scatter with the thyme leaves and pour the chicken stock over. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the fennel is tender when pierced with a skewer and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.
This dish is best eaten straight from the oven, while the fennel is warm and the bread chunks still crisp, however it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes or until heated through.
The simplicity of these roasted winter root vegetables allows their true flavours to shine – especially when finished with fresh herbs, lemon and ricotta salata.
1 bunch baby beetroot, scrubbed, trimmed and halved if large
1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and halved
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
3 small parsnips, scrubbed, trimmed and quartered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
40g ricotta salata (see Baker's Tips) or sheep's milk feta, crumbled or coarsely grated
1½ tablespoons oregano leaves
1½ tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, zest finely grated
lemon wedges or cheeks, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced)
Toss the beetroot, carrots, fennel and parsnip with the oil to coat. Spread over the base of a roasting dish and bake for 40 minutes, tossing once halfway through baking, or until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a skewer.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with a little more oil. Combine the ricotta salata, oregano, parsley and lemon zest and scatter over the vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Ricotta salata is an Italian ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It has a wonderfully salty flavour and firm texture which is perfect for crumbling, slicing or grating.