Combining sweet and savory has never been a favorite of mine and even less in hot dishes so I started this one with a little hesitation. Fennel though, I love to use! The taste of anise is engrained in most Dutch minds and we have a lot of products that incorporate it.
So with mixed feelings I started this recipe, again a pretty easy one to do. Maybe I haven’t been trying the most difficult ones but no problems up till now 😉 You will need to make a crumble mix first, the amount you make of course depends on how many are coming for dinner. The recipe in the book serves 6 – 8 so I halved it and for the crumble mix I used:
100 grams of flour
30 grams of fine sugar
60 grams of cold butter
Mix together till you get a crumbly, lump free mixture, cover and leave in the fridge till later. For the rest of the dish you will need.
Half a kilo of Fennel (about 3)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 a teaspoon of thyme
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1/2 a tablespoon of coarse sea salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
100 ml of cream
50 grams of parmesan
150 grams of cherry tomatoes
some finely chopped leaf parsley
Pre heat the oven to 200 C, halve the fennel and remove the stems. Now cut them into 1 1/2 cm slices and put them in a bowl with the garlic, oil, salt, pepper,thyme and give it a good mix. I mix everything with my hands, clean of course 😉 A lot of people I know will hardly touch food with their hands but I love it. Quick poll question, use your hands to mix or not? Leave a comment 🙂
Once you’ve mixed well, put the fennel in an oven dish and pour the cream over the top. I used light cream to give my girlfriend a break but you can use single or double cream if you want. Now mix the grated parmesan with the crumble and sprinkle it over the fennel. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 45 minutes. If you’ve made too much crumble you can always cut up some fresh fruit into a ramekin, add the crumble on top, 15 – 20 minutes in the oven and you’ve got a great and simple dessert!
When its done remove the foil, add the tomatoes and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. This should result in nice brown crumbles (I cheated a bit and used the grill) and the fennel should be soft. Leave to rest for a few minutes, add the chopped parsley and serve!
As expected all the ingredients combine really well so the dish tastes great. I still am not a big fan of the sweet crumble so maybe next time I’ll use a little less sugar but this is something I will definitely be making again and would certainly serve to others!
4 down, 136 to go.