An indulgent baked fennel dinner

This is a perfect Friday night in front of a box set dinner. It is an unashamed hearty, indulgent standalone dish (if it makes you feel better, even with the cream I reckon its still healthier than a take away pizza). Just the thing to enjoy at the end of a long week alongside some crusty bread or stirred through pasta with a bottle of wine. I ate it watching Boardwalk Empire but any good box set will do.

Baked fennel with pancetta and cream (serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side)

Ingredients
4 large bulbs of fennel
200g/ 7oz diced pancetta or bacon
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
200ml/6oz heavy (double) cream (or half cream and low fat half crème fraiche)
Optional – a handful of grated gruyere or Parmesan

To make
1. Cut each bulb of fennel into quarters from stalk to root and place them in a shallow baking dish in a single layer
2. Fry the pancetta in a dry frying pan over a gentle heat, stirring every few minutes, so that the fat is released (for around 10 minutes) and the pancetta eventually becomes crisp. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
3. Add the garlic and freshly ground black pepper to the pancetta and cook for around 2 minutes before pouring the pancetta and garlic over the fennel (keep some of the fat back if you don’t want to be too indulgent!)
4. Pour the cream over the dish and bake, uncovered, for around 40 minutes until the fennel is tender. If using cheese, scatter it over for the last 10 minutes of cooking

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One thought on “An indulgent baked fennel dinner

  1. Pingback: A Brit’s take on Thanksgiving | yousaytomatocooking's blog

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