MIDDLE EASTERN FENNEL AND ROOT STEW WITH DATES AND HERBS

MIDDLE EASTERN FENNEL AND ROOT STEW WITH DATES AND HERBS

This delicious stew is an all-year highlight as its ingredients can be found easily throughout every season.
It’s very easy to make and the enchanting smells will not only imbue your kitchen with Middle Eastern aromas,
but also the homes around you, to your neighbours’ envious distress.
Feel free to serve it alongside a grain of your liking for a more substantial meal.

 

Heat olive oil in a big pan with a lid.  Add the onions and sauté until transparent (6-8 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the spices, agave syrup, orange juice and water. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the fennel, sweet potatoes, parsnip, carrots and dates. Mix well, then cover with the lid and cook for 40-50 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked and the mixture achieves a stew-like consistency. Check and stir from time to time in order to prevent burning. Season to taste.


To serve, place the stew into bowls. Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt, then top with coriander, flat leaf parsley, dill, as well as the fennel greens. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

2 onions, halved and finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced

Small pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 tsp agave syrup
Juice of 1 orange
400ml water

2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and coarsely chopped, leaves kept for topping
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 parsnips, peeled and cubed
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 handful dried pitted dates, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


Handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Handful dill, finely chopped
1 pot of Greek yoghurt
Almonds flakes, chopped

FENNEL RISOTTO WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND THYME

FENNEL RISOTTO WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND THYME

Risottos have become our weeknight dinner favourite whose leftover batches we turn into next day’s lunches that nurture us and ours.
This one is a beautiful marriage between fennel and roasted cherry tomatoes, and is crowned by the delicious thyme oil it is roasted in.

Heat the oven to 200 C°. Add the cherry tomatoes with vine in an oven proof dish. Cover with thyme, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Use a generous amount of olive oil, as it will be used to top the dish. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes are browned and the juices have mixed with the oil. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down.

Meanwhile crush the fennel seeds in a mortar or blender.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the fennel seeds and the fennel. Cover with a lid and sauté for 20 minutes. Stir regularly and season to taste.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and celery sticks and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for another minute.
Add the rice, turn the heat up and toast for 2 minutes whilst stirring. Add the sherry and mix well. Once the liquid has evaporated slightly, turn the heat back to medium and begin to add the vegetable stock, ladle by ladle, until it has been completely absorbed (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in the ghee, the creamy goat cheese, the majority of the Pecorino cheese and the fennel mixture.

To serve, place the risotto in bowls and top with the cherry tomatoes, the thyme oil and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano.

Serves 4

Olive oil
500g cherry tomatoes on the vine
8 sprigs thyme, stems removed

1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed, cubed and green leaves reserved to serve

1 onion, finely chopped
2 green celery sticks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250 g risotto rice
1/2 cup medium sweet sherry
1l vegetable stock

1 tbsp mild soft goat cheese (of the Chavroux type)
1 tbsp ghee
Handful of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste