Full Recipe

Fennel braised in orange, lemon & lime juices – slow-cooked & simple

fennel
As I’ve said a few times both my shopping and cooking have changed since my accident. I’ve decided not to call everything “quick and easy” but to change my terminology a little – “quick and easy” recipes will refer to dishes that need a little preparation (a few minutes only and not difficult) and a short cooking time. Other recipes I’ll call “slow-cooked and simple” – the same short time to prepare the ingredients but a longer time to cook them eg in the oven for 30 minutes or more.So, this week’s recipe is slow-cooked and simple. Last Friday in the email and talking to Arek he told us that he’d have plenty of fresh fennel so I bought quite a lot. Of course Mike asked how and when we’d eat it all. I can assure you we have over 3 meals. The citrus are from both Arek from Garden for the people and Ja Plains view gardens.
Ingredients 
– 3 large fennel bulbs, tops cut off and some fluffy fronds kept for use at the end, bulbs sliced lengthwise into 4-5 thick slices.
– Olive oil
– 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
– 2 medium/large oranges, zest and juice
– 1 lemon, zest and juice
– 2 limes, zest and juice
– 1 cup apple cider
– 1/2 cup water
– springs of fresh thyme
– 2 tsps red peppercorns
(trying out these from a possible new stallholder – definitely will buy these again!)
– 1 tbsp hemp seed from plant cultureMethod
1. Heat the oven to 180 °c
2. I used a big lidded oven dish that can also be used on the stove top. Not necessary but easy as it makes less washing up. On the stove heat a little oil in the dish and brown the fennel slices on both sides. Reserve 3-4 slices for the salad.
3. Once the slices are all browned, keep aside and in the dish put the garlic, zests, critus juices and cider. Mix them well
4. Place the fennel slices in the mix making them sit flat and overlap them where you need to. Sprinkle the red peppercorns on top and around the sides.
5. Place the lid on and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the fennel gets softer.Frances had bought Mike and I a fresh sole each which I had planned to panfry separately but both he and Frances said I had to cook them on top of the fennel in the oven. So I agreed and added 1/2 cup of water to the fennel and cooked it for another 10 minutes with the lid off.
I took the fish out and put the fennel on a big platter and put some raw sliced fennel on top and sprinkled hemp seeds over the whole lot.We also had this fennel dish without the sole as a salad for dinner and even did a sandwich the next day for lunch with some salmon wings from Billy, added 2 big slices of cooked fennel and lettuce on top. It was delicious!