Fennel

Basic Cooking Instructions
Remove root base and top leaves. Cut into half or quarters. Boil for 10 minutes. Serve buttered or with a mild cheese grated on top.

Freezing Instructions
Quarter and blanch in boiling water for 4 minutes. Cool and pack in freezer bags. May be cooked from frozen in boiling water for 5-8 minutes.

Recipes
Fennel au Gratin
2 bulbs fennel .........................................284ml carton double cream
100g mature cheese, grated ................seasoning
Remove root and separate fennel into leaves, cutting each in half across. Blanch for 5 minutes in boiling water. Layer fennel leaves with half the cheese in a greased oven-proof dish. Pour over cream, sprinkle with remaining cheese and season to taste. Bake at 200C/Gas Mark 6 for about 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Fennel and Potato Soup
2 bulbs fennel, coarsely chopped ....................800g potatoes, thinly sliced
2 onions, chopped ..............................................1 litre stock (chicken or vegetable)
small pot single cream ......................................1 tablespoon chopped chives to garnish
Fry onions gently until very soft. Add fennel and potatoes. Fry for further 5 minutes, covered, stirring frequently. Add stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Season, puree and add cream. Reheat without boiling. Scatter chives to serve. Serves 4.

Braised Pork and Fennel
400g pork fillet, cut into chunks ...................2 bulbs fennel
1 large onion, chopped ....................................2 large cans chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed ...................................2 tablespoons tomato puree
250ml stock (chicken or vegetable) ..............seasoning
Fry onion and garlic until soft. Add pork and brown all over. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and stock and season. Bring to the boil. Trim and chop fennel into small wedges. Add to pork and simmer for 30 minutes covered. Test for seasoning. Serves 4