When seemingly simple recipes require two different methods of cooking I have been known to keep on turning the pages of the recipe book. Despite involving both boiling and grilling, I decided to give Lois’ grilled fennel a try, as I’ve learnt from Lois’ recipes this year is that every one of her instructions is there for a reason. As Ginny Grant wrote to me, with Lois ‘[t]here are no unnecessary embellishments in her cooking, everything that is in a recipe is there because it is needed.’ With this is in mind, I encourage you to give this recipe a go. It’s a lovely side which becomes the focus of the meal when paired with some grilled salmon and some boiled new potatoes; any extra sauce can be poured over top.
Grilled Fennel (Lois Daish, Listener, 19 February, 2000)
2 whole Florence fennel bulbs
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon cream or creme fraiche
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the tops of the fennel bulbs. Fill a large pot with water, submerge the fennel bulbs and bring to the boil. Simmer until the bulbs are tender all the way through. Drain and cut into thick slices. Preheat your oven using the grill function. Brush the pieces of fennel with olive oil and place on a tray and grill until browned.
Make the dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl or shaking together in a jar. Pour over the grilled fennel and serve.