This may or may not be an original dish- tell me if you have seen similar! … To me it’s an original. It came about because I bought THE most beautiful bulb of fennel at Borough Market…and wanted to make a gratin… but without the cheese- or the other ordinary option of breadcrumbs, I then half remembered a recipe on my frosty walk home that was some kind of savoury crumble.
Originally I had thought I would use cashews as the crust, but once home realised we had some pistachios hanging around…and an open pack of pine nuts- which don’t keep very well so they needed using, and as ever we have loads of thyme growing, plus I had a (not very eco friendly) pack of fresh parsley.
I then discovered that I was going to have a night on my tod. ON.A.FRIDAY !!! It’s rare to be on my own on any evening, but The Gardener has a serious job now. And I had forgotten that this could mean Friday drinkies. My own workplace doesn’t have that kind of cameraderie….-I should have made plans with my super duper friends who I PINKY PROMISED to spend more time with this year (Heidi! Carlo! Marie!).
Anyway. I was home alone. And that meant that not only I could experiment with food. I could experiment with lighting and photography. Let me know what you think. Food styling & photography is a tricky beast & I’m learning.. quickly I hope.
NB: The pistachios were already salted- and I over salted the crust first time.. don’t do that!
Savoury Fennel Crumble with Herby Pistachio Crust
Serves 1- Just scale up!
- Approx 1/4 fennel thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/4 tsp marigold stock
- 3-4 sprigs thyme -leaves only
- 1 Tbs hot water
- 1 Tbs pistachios -shelled & roughly chopped ( I used some roasted, salted ones because we had them lying around- use raw/ unsalted ones if you have them!)
- 1 Tbs pine nuts
- 1 tsp fresh parsley (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a cute little ramekin add the hot water, stock and 1/4 of the thyme & stir until dissolved
- Layer in the fennel to about 1/3 full. ( A round, fat fennel bulb is conveniently almost the same size as my dinky ramekins!)
- Give the ramekin a little tilt so that all the fennel is covered in stock
- Pop in the oven on gas mark 6/200C for around 10 mins until the fennel is soft
- Meanwhile, mix together the pine nuts, crushed pistachios and herbs
- Remove the fennel ramekin from the oven, and cover the fennel in an even layer of the nutty herby mix .
- Return to the oven for another 10 mins until the top is crusty.
This is a great side dish … Pine nuts & Fennel work really well together!