Fennel, Polenta and Fennel Verde


30 minutes, Serves 4


Slice 3 fennel into long, thick pieces and cover with chicken stock or vegetable stock if you’re not a meat eater.  Cover and simmer in a pan for 20-30 minutes. 

Chop the long stalks from the fennel with some garlic and fry with fennel seeds in a tablespoon of olive oil. 

Put the leafy fronds in a blender with a clove of garlic, tablespoon of capers, half a tin of anchovies (Just leave these out if you’re vegetarian), a teaspoon of dijon mustard, a handful of fresh coriander, zest and juice of a lemon, black pepper and blend, adding olive oil to reach the consistency you like.

I used quick cook polenta and followed the instructions on the pack, very simple.  The key to good polenta is adding lots of flavour.  Grate 100g of hard goats cheese and add this to your cooked polenta with the fried garlic and fennel stalks, beat it in.

Spoon onto a plate, place the braised fennel with some of the juice on top and finish with a dollop of fennel verde.

Any left over polenta pour into a tray and leave it to set in the fridge.  You can then slice off chunks and brown on each side in a pan with olive oil for polenta chips!

Use the salsa on anything else you fancy.  I stir it into soups.