Fennel is such an understated vegetable. I love it in salads. This time around I had it roasted. I've never had it roasted but boy was it nice.
Now I've had a subscription to MasterChef magazine for a year now. Thanks to Ms C, soon to be Mrs A, who extended my subscription for my birthday. I love the show so of course I love the magazine. I get such enjoyment perving and drooling at the recipes each month. But shock horror this was the first time I cooked one of the recipes. I know I should be ashamed! I have so many post it tags on the side of the mags.
Adapted Recipe by Curtis Stone via MasterChef Magazine
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into slices
12 eschalots, halved lengthwise
4 springs thyme
125ml olive oil
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups couscous
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
80g pine nuts, roasted (I used roasted macadamia, I didn't have any pine nuts at the time.)
100g feta, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place fennel, eschalots, thyme and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a large, shallow oven try and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and tender.
2. While this is happening, to make the couscous, place the stock and 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add couscous and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and stand for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
3. To make balsamic glaze, place vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 8 minutes or until syrupy.
4. Place remaining oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Fluff the couscous with a fork, transfer to a large bowl, then stir in lemon juice mixture, parsley and the nuts. Season.
5. Top the couscous with the roasted fennel mixture and feta. The last step of drizzling with balsamic glaze is optional. You may want to place the glaze on the side to serve. The flavours were intense enough to go without the balsamic. So, enjoy with or without it.