Slightly aniseed flavoured Florence or bulb fennel is great to grow in the garden year round – in summer you can use it sliced thinly in salads and in winter as a cooked vegetable. This Fennel & Potato Bake recipe has a lovely cheesy topping and is delicious. You can make it with whatever root vegetables you have as well as potato (such as kumara) and you can add other ingredients such as artichoke hearts or olives. I usually adjust the quantities to fit my roasting dish.
800g potatoes (and other root vegetables)
2 large bulbs fennel
Artichoke hearts (in oil unless you are lucky enough to have them fresh) – optional
2 tbsp oil (can use from artichokes)
50g parmesan cheese, grated
100ml double cream
Peel and cut potatoes (and other vegetables if using) into chunks.
Trim the fennel and keep some leafy tops for garnish. Finely slice the stalks. Halve the bulb and cut into 1 cm slices.
Put all the vegetables into a 30 x 35 cm roasting tray and add 2 tbsp oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and toss it all together.
Pour in about 200ml of water, cover the tray tightly with tin foil, and bake for 1 hour at 200C. Remove the foil.
Mix half of the parmesan cheese into a bowl with the cream, then spoon the mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
Bake for a further 20 minutes until it is golden and cooked through. Sprinkle with fennel tops before serving.