For the fennel
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 4 heads of fennel, trimmed (fronds kept) and cut into thin wedges
- 2 garlic clove, chopped
- 400g can chopped tomato
For the topping
- 85g white bread
- 50g Parmesan, grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- handful fennel fronds
- zest 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- handful black olive, pitted
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the fennel, cover and stew over a low heat for 15 mins. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 10-20 mins until the fennel is soft (the timing depends on how thick the fennel is). Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins until the fennel is coated in a thick tomato sauce. Tip everything into a shallow gratin dish. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 4.
While the fennel is cooking, tip all the topping ingredients except the olives into a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Add the olives and pulse until chopped, but not blended. Scatter the crumbs generously over the fennel, drizzle with the rest of the oil, then bake for 20 mins until golden.
Eat it raw
Fennel is delicious raw. Remove the tough outer skin, finely slice the bulb and cut away any core. Toss in a zesty dressing of olive oil and lemon juice and serve with shaved parmesan.