Fennel a la Grecque | Fennel Slow Cooked in French-Greek Style

Fennel is delicious raw, but sometimes I love to cook it too. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

Fennel is delicious raw, but equally as good cooked. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

The fennel is cooked loooong and slow in herbs and olive oil for a beautiful, soft dish so well paired with the soft and creamy Persian feta. Use goats cheese or fresh buffalo mozzarella if you cant get Persian feta.

Looking for other fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange and Fennel on the BBQ.

Other a la Grecque dishes include Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque and Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque.

All of our Fennel recipes are here. Browse our a la Grecque dishes, French dishes and Greek dishes. Or be inspired by our Early Spring dishes.

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Chinese Five Spice Powder | Ng Geung Fun, Ngung Heung Fun, Hung-Liu

All over China, Five Spice Powder (ng geung fun, ngung heung fun, hung-liu) is known and valued. This is an aromatic, intense and tantalising spice of various recipes. It has been used in China since ancient times. The number 5 is significant in Chinese belief, and the five spice blend is said to be beneficial to health. It is said that the five spices provide the five flavours essential to the balance of the palate and the health of the individual – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent.

This spice mixture contains star anise, cassia (or cinnamon), cloves, fennel and Szechuan pepper usually in equal parts. Optionally, ginger, galangal, black cardamom (Southern China) or even liquorice may be added. The spices should be kept whole and powdered before usage.

Since the spice mixture is very aromatic (although not hot), it should be used with care. It is often added to the batter of Chinese-style fried vegetables and used in marinades.

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Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds look a bit like cumin seeds (or vise versa), but are plumper and greener. Their flavour is anise-like.

Fennel Seeds look a bit like cumin seeds (or vise versa), but are plumper and vibrant green when fresh and dull-greenish yellow-brown when dried. Their flavour is warm, sweet and liquorice or aniseed-like, and pungent. The flavour mellows a little with roasting.

You might like to read the information on Fennel Bulbs and the Fennel Herb . Feel free to browse information and vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or browse the Indian Essentials series.

Fennel Seeds

Similar to cumin seeds, fennel seeds are larger and slightly more green. The seeds are used in Italy, China, the Middle East and India. They combine well with cumin and coriander seeds, two other cooling spices.

In India, fennel seeds are served after a sumptuous meal – they are often eaten dry roasted to freshen the mouth and as a digestive. A refreshing tea can be made by infusing the seeds in hot water.

In Kashmir, they are often ground and used in conjunction with asafoetida powder and ginger powder for a host of dishes. In North and West Indian, the whole seeds are used in pickles, chutneys and snack foods. They are often dry roasted or flash fried in oil to enhance the flavour and aroma, and are used this way in the stir frying of vegetables in Bengal in East India, where they are also part of panch phoron. They are also part of the Chinese Five Spice Powder, and can form part of Garam Masala.

It is said in Ayurveda that fennel is a universal balance of doshas.It is considered a digestive rejuvenator, activating proper digestive functions when needed and reducing the digestive fire (pita) when over stimulated. It calms the mind yet prompts alertness.

Chinese Red Date Herbal Tea | An Infusion

At one stage, we became interested in Chinese ingredients and their incorporation into herbal infusions. This is beautiful.

At one stage, we became interested in Chinese ingredients and their incorporation into herbal infusions. This is beautiful.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also liked our Tea recipes here.

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Olive Oil, Cumin and Fennel Seed Sourish Dough Bread

This was another wonderful bread that we made often.

This bread can be made with almost any flour – ordinary plain flour, high fibre, unbleached or any other flour. It takes two days to make as you need to sour the dough first. It is NOT a full-blown heavy sour dough, just a slightly sour taste that goes so well with the fennel, and thus is delicious layered with pesto, tomatoes, cheese and snow pea shoots.

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BBQ’d Pumpkins, Potatoes, Broccoli and Fennel

A new BBQ brings lots of cooking.

These recipes use a BBQ with a cover, so you can grill or bake or roast. I use a Weber Q, along with its vegetable basket, a hotplate for things like onions and haloumi, and a pizza stone.

Similar recipes include Broccolini and Snow Peas with Sweet Tahini Dressing, and Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa.

You might like to browse our complete collection of BBQ recipes. Our favourite is Pizza on the BBQ. Or browse our Winter recipes here.

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Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque | Vegetables Poached in Wine

Oh how seductive are Autumn mornings. Full of golden light, rayed so jaw-droopingly beautifully through the leaves. Plants in autumn reach up lovingly to the sun, after months of shrinking away from the heat of summer. Long tendrils holding flowers wave in the breezes and welcome your passing smile — they nod knowingly in that gentle breeze. Chives and spring onions are flowering. Geraniums as red as lipstick. Mint and lemon verbena. Bog sage. Curry leaf. Earlier, my Lemongrass flowered — the first time ever!

How fitting then to find a recipe of matching gentleness, a warm salad of wine poached baby veggies, needing nothing else but the magnificent flavours of plants, leaves, wine and the very best of oils. Yes, Ottolenghi, you understand Autumn.

Are you after other a la Greque dishes? Try Slow Braised Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Zucchini a la Grecque, and Parsley Braised with Olive Oil and Tomatoes. Also try Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes and all of our a la Grecque recipes. Be inspired by our collection of Mid Autumn recipes.

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Seasonal Cooking | 11 Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

I ran into a lady today from Northern France and we chatted about France and French food. I have spent some time living and working in the North East of France, so it was great to chat to such a beautiful lady.

Coincidentally, I have just started to re-read, Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. I love the simple approach to food and the reverence she shows to food and eating.

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