Sunday, 18 August 2013

Anyone Know Any Fennel Recipes?

Our fennel has come up trumps this year 


Lots of it


Here it is with it's hair on.  There's another dozen to be cropped.


We grew two short rows of different varieties and they both  did well. Not only did they grow big, they haven't bolted yet !   But then it has been a good year for everything this year
Seacale Beet, Fennel, Beetroot, French Beans, Sweetcorn and Runner Beans 
French Bean "Sungold" has been particularly good. I had four extra plants when I planted out a row at the plot so I stuffed them into a pot at home and they just took.  Last year we got none!



I can't grow cauliflowers, but courtesy of the beneficial conditions I have a good looking specimen.  OK this is one out of a dozen, and the others were disappointing as normal., but hey, celebrations are in order.


(The bottle of wine is just to give a measure of size.. hic)


I would say that 2013 has been the best year for a decade.

13 comments:

  1. What a lovely cauliflower, I haven't managed to get mine to sprout for a while, so I cheated & bough a few. Now to see if they were correctly labelled. I'm way behind this year, after having to remove everything from the plot & bring them home things have taken a while to catch up. I've lost a few too.

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    1. Thanks Liz. I've been reading about your troubles. Not fair - but all too common!

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  2. Not as good here though Mal as some things are better than normal and other things worse.

    Sorry we don't like fennel so no recipes for you

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    1. Mysterious that the weather has been so different just 200 miles apart! We just caught the wave here... this year!

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  3. A good thing to do with fennel is to slice the bulb in two lengthways, then put the two halves, cut side down, in a heavy (le creuset is perfect) saucepan. Dot plenty of butter around the fennel, season, and put the lid on (needs to to tight fitting, you're basically steaming the fennel in its own water content, so you don't want any escaping). Cook over a low-medium heat for about 15-20 mins depending on the size of the bulb.

    The idea is that the cut side should caramelize and char a bit, while the rest of the bulb steams itself to tender. Goes great with a roast chicken.

    I should also say that the browned butter/ fennel juices left in the pan after this treatment are just about the most shockingly delicious thing I've ever tasted!

    Hope this helps. Incidentally, this is also a good way to do cauliflower, if you've got a heavy/large enough pan.

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    1. Thanks Lee. Will try to replicate this. (It was a salad day today.)

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    2. This worked a treat! Thanks again.

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  4. There is a great tomato sauce on BBC goodfood website where the fennel just takes it too another level. I openly admit to being very jealous about your fabulous fennel xxx

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    1. Will seek that out. Thanks Fran.

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  5. Why not try braising the fennel in some white wine into which are added some raisins and some finely chopped shallots?
    I think the really hot weather in July did a lot of good (despite requiring us to do loads of watering!). We haven't had a really hot Summer for many years, until 2013.

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  6. 'Braising' is one of those words I have problems with I must admit, Mark. Mine would rapidly turn into a stew. But if I have enough fennel, I'm game. Thanks for you suggestion.

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  7. Looks like you can grow caulies Mal from that picture! And cracking looking fennel, never grown these myself.

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    1. One, and a couple of only half decent ones, out of ten is not a good average, Damo. There's something I'm still not getting about growing caulies. It's hit or miss when they should all be poor or all good!

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