Made at Home Vegetables, by Dick Strawbridge and James Strawbridge (Mitchell Beazley, 2012), proves just how productively green you can be all year round. Whether you have a tiny urban plot, a terrace, a community garden allotment or plenty of space in your own garden, growing your own vegetables is one of the easiest ways to transform the way you eat. The following excerpt from the chapter “Autumn” teaches you how to make roasted fennel with blue cheese and chestnuts.
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Fennel is one of those superstar vegetables that are special because all their components taste good: seeds, bulbs, leaves and stalks. We love serving it thinly sliced as a salad, and using the seeds to flavour chorizo sausages or sweet potato mash, but to really release fennel’s flavours you can’t beat roasting it.
Roasted Fennel With Blue Cheese and Chestnuts
• 2 fennel bulbs, plus the green fronds
• 50g (2oz) butter, melted
• 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) white wine
• 150g (5oz) chestnuts
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 175g (6oz) blue cheese, crumbled
For the apple chutney
• 2 apples
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Calvados
• 1 tablespoon raisins
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1. To make the apple chutney, cut the apples into 1cm (1/2 inch) cubes and put them into a small pan over a medium heat with the sugar and Calvados.
2. Flambé the apple: use a long match to carefully set the alcohol alight at the edge of the pan and let it burn off. When the flames have died down, add the raisins and vinegar.
3. Stir until the apples have softened, then cook for a further 15 minutes until the chutney has reduced and thickened. After 15 minutes turn off the heat, spoon into a small sterilized jar and leave to cool.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4. Cut the fennel bulbs into segments and place in a pan.
5. Add the melted butter and white wine and cook over a medium heat on the stove for 5-10 minutes, or until the fennel starts to soften. Add the chestnuts, season generously with salt and pepper and mix together.
6. Transfer the fennel and chestnut mixture to an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and top with the blue cheese. Put back into the oven for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.
7. Serve with the fresh apple chutney.
More from Made at Home Vegetables
• Grow Large, Juicy Garlic Bulbs
• Garlic Pizzas Recipe
• Grow Your Own Sweetcorn in the Summer
• Sweetcorn Fritters With Salsa and Lime Mayo Recipe
• How to Grow Fennel
• Grow White and Purple Kohlrabi
• Kohlrabi Coleslaw Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Made at Home Vegetables, by Dick Strawbridge and James Strawbridge, and published by Mitchell Beazley, 2012. Buy this book from our store: Made at Home Vegetables.