Roast fennel and potato with safron

Lunch :) aka roast fennel and potato with safron

It’s autumn :) I got some lovely big juicy and cheap organic fennel bulbs the other day at Green Rebel (now Fresh) on Dominion Rd. They are big and juicy, but perhaps have been left to get a bit overgrown, so may be tough. This recipe is ideal, the stock provides steam to soften them a little, while getting the potatoes beautifully crisp.

  • Potatoes (I used about 8 small ones for a two person portion) cut and boiled for 6-10 mins
  • Onions (I used six small red ones) peeled and cut in half or quarters
  • Fennel Bulb (I used one huge organic one, I guess two or three supermarket midgets) cut
  • Stock half a cup (for this 2 portion size) with saffron soaking in it while the veges are getting cut, 1 Tbsp balsamic and a tsp or two of sugar
  • garlic 1/2 a head chopped
  • teaspoon each fennel seeds crushed and paprika
  • bay leaves, several, and thyme several sprigs (if you MUST you can probably used dried but surely you have a few thyme plants in a pot somewhere, no one but you will see they look straggly at this season because they’ll char away, just leaving that lovely aroma, the burnt bay leaves should be removed by hand before serving ;)
  • Olive oil 2-3 Tbsp

Spread the autumnal bounty (dry ingredients) around a baking tray, pour on the stock and oil, place in oven at 190C (about 375F for Americans and anyone stuck in a time warp). Turn over with a slice every ten minutes or so till beautifully golden and burnt. Eat straight from the oven, with seasoning. Forget you intended to keep half for this evening and wish you’d done double quantity :)

PS: if you follow the chef’s advice (my son Nathan) and keep your vege peelings to make stock this recipe is even Vegan as well as delicious :) I confess to having used some bones from a dead chicken to make my stock – I must get better organised ;)