Inspired by Linda McCartney’s vegetarian recipes, this crispy fennel with chilli-roasted potatoes is a great main or side dish.
- 2 fennel bulbs
- Olive oil
- Juice and grated zest of one small lemon
- 250g small new potatoes
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- Pinch of cumin seeds
- Pinch of sea salt
- 40g fresh white breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Trim 2 fennel bulbs, reserving the green feathery fronds. Cut the bulbs into quarters. Cook in a large pan of boiling water for 5 mins and then drain well.
Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a small roasting tin or flameproof dish, add the fennel and turn to coat in the oil. Drizzle over the juice of one small lemon. Roast for 35 mins until starting to brown.
Cook the small new potatoes in boiling water for 10 mins and then drain thoroughly.
Pour a little vegetable oil into the base of a small roasting tin and heat for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and roll them around so they are coated with oil.
Mix the chilli powder, cumin seeds and sea salt in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the potatoes, turning them over to coat. Add another 2tbsp oil to the tin and return to the oven to roast for 15 mins or until cooked through and golden brown.
Heat 1tbsp oil in a frying pan, add one finely chopped clove of garlic and cook for 1 min until starting to brown. Add the fresh breadcrumbs, stirring for 5 mins until crispy and brown. Remove from the heat and add the grated lemon zest, snipped fennel fronds and seasoning. Sprinkle over the fennel, return to the oven for 5 mins.
Remove potatoes with a draining spoon and serve with the hot crispy fennel.
You can use fennel in place of onion or leeks in soups, cheesy bakes such as potato dauphinoise, and pasta sauces. You can also grill, roast or deep-fry it in batter.