Roast fennel with pomegranate seeds.

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I served this as a side dish with roast halibut, but I think that the combination of aromatic, sharp and sweet flavours would also work really well with lamb chops or sausages.

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE AS A SIDE DISH

2 large fennel bulbs.

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon freshly ground or crushed coriander seed.

Seeds and juice of half a pomegranate.

 What to do, roughly speaking

Trim off the very bottom of the fennel bulbs, and the feathery tops.

Discard any outer leaves that have dark or soft-looking patches. If you choose your fennel carefully and it’s a good batch you may not have to discard any of it.

Slice in half lengthwise, trying to keep the halves intact. Don’t worry if they fall apart, but if they do you’ll need a little less cooking time.

What to do, roughly speaking:

Cover the bottom of a small roasting dish with olive oil and sprinkle in the salt and pepper and freshly ground coriander.

Place this in the oven pre-heated to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6

When the oil is hot, add the fennel and coat with the hot seasoned oil.

Return to the oven and roast for about 40 minutes.

(I was also roasting the halibut as well as potatoes, beetroot and carrots in separate dishes to make the best use of the hot oven.)

Turn the heat up to 240ºC/475ºF/Gas mark 9.

Pour the pomegranate seeds and juice over the fennel and return to the oven for about 10 minutes until the pomegranate seeds look slightly burnt. Taste one of the seeds to make sure that it is caramelised – chewy with a very slightly charred taste.

Serve while still very hot.

 

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