Serve this as a vegetable side dish, chop it up a bit more to make a pasta sauce, or serve it as a delicious autumnal lunch for two with crusty bread and a crisp pear and cheese salad. It's brilliant as a baby and toddler early food too, ours have all wolfed it down! This dish also accompanies the flan recipe from last week perfectly.
Serves 4 as a side dish or pasta sauce, 2 as a main
2 bulbs of fennel
20 cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
a large handful of olives in oil, pitted (we use fresh or from a jar, if they are good quality)
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
2 or 3 sticks of fresh thyme
Extra virgin olive oil, or oil from your olives or sun-dried tomatoes jar
250ml full-bodied Chardonnay or similar
1. Remove the fennel tops and slice finely. Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters, and cook in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.
2. Place the fennel in a roasting dish and top with the tomatoes, garlic, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and shake to coat everything.
3. Add the wine and dot a few small knobs of butter across the dish.
4. Bake at 220C for 30-40 minutes. Cover with foil if the fennel is browning too fast but not cooking through. Serve hot or at room temperature.