Recipe: Steamed fennel

The aniseed flavour of fennel is really quite subtle, but distinct enough to make a delicious contrast to other vegetables. It makes a lovely addition to a traditional roast meal, or is a good accompaniment to fish and chicken.
Serves 4

Walk Japan

PREPARATION: 10 minutes
COOKING: 15–20 minutes


2 fennel bulbs
large piece of butter

50 ml/2 fl oz (1/4 cup) double
(heavy) cream
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
piece of butter
chopped fennel fronds, to serve


Trim the top off the fennel close to the bulb and wash thoroughly, especially around the base. Cut each bulb lengthwise into 4 pieces, then cut these in half across
the middle. (You can do more cleaning at this stage if necessary.) Put the fennel into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Melt the butter in the empty pan over low heat, add the fennel and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes, turning now and again. Cream may be added near the end, and
a sprinkling of Parmesan before serving, if desired. Garnish with the fronds to serve.

If you like the idea of including onion and garlic, soften them in the piece of butter in a separate covered pan while the fennel is boiling. Add the drained fennel and another piece
of butter, and continue to cook with the lid off for another 5 minutes. Add the cream and Parmesan as specified above if desired.

This recipe was first published in The Great Dixter Cookbook

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