Our kitchen garden cook’s combination of fennel with cod has a distinctly Japanese flavour.
Fennel is a fabulous vegetable to grow – not only does it work well in a variety of dishes, the tall fronds also look beautiful in the garden. The only downside is that you either love it or hate it.
Miso cod with warm fennel-and-yuzu salad and nori potatoes
- 4 cod fillets
- 100g white-miso paste
- 400g potatoes
- 1 sheet nori
- 15g sea salt
- 25ml olive oil
- 2 thinly sliced fennel bulbs
- 2 halved and sliced red onions
- 15ml yuzu
- Zest of 1 orange
- Micro shiso and oba leaves to serve (optional)
Put the cod and the miso paste in a freezer bag, then rub gently so the fillets are coated. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 3. Arrange the fish on
a foil-lined tray and bake for 15–18 minutes or until just cooked.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into even-sized pieces, then simmer in a pan of boiling, salted water until tender. Meanwhile, pass the nori through a spice grinder or roll up and slice thinly with a sharp knife (a grinder is preferable as it will create a ‘glittery’ dust). Once the potatoes are cooked, drain, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the nori and sea salt.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the fennel and red onions, frying gently until almost tender. Season, then pour it over the yuzu and add the zest. Stir well to combine.
Divide the warm fennel salad between four plates, top with the cod (I served mine on oba leaves) and add a few shiso leaves. Serve with the nori potatoes on the side.
More ways with fennel
Combine 250ml of Greek yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a little salt in a blender, then trickle in 50ml of olive oil. Finely slice a quarter of a spring green cabbage, 1 large bulb of fennel and a sweet apple, then mix together with a few spoonfuls of the dressing. Serve the slaw heaped on hotdogs.
Fennel-and-sausage ragu tagliatelle
Remove the skins from 400g of high-quality sausages. In a large pan, fry a couple of finely sliced red onions, 1 fennel bulb and the sausagemeat. Sprinkle with seasoning, freshly chopped basil and oregano. Pour a glass of red wine over them, then simmer to reduce before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and a handful of fresh, chopped ones. Reduce everything down with a splash of balsamic vinegar for sweetness, stirring well. Cook pasta until al dente and stir through the sauce. Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Fennel gratin with Parmesan
Cut a few fennel bulbs into wedges and arrange them in an ovenproof dish. Season well, then scrunch up slices of Parma ham and nestle them between the wedges. Mix double cream and crushed garlic in a jug and pour it over the fennel, to just cover. Grate Parmesan over the top and bake for about 25 minutes in a moderate oven.
Melanie Johnson has ways to make eating kale a pleasure.
Delicious, warming and a little spicy.
Melanie Johnson adds some zing with this season’s new spring onions.