Chronicle Books x Hedley & Bennett Book Week - Day 1: Plenty

Diane Lieu

As you might've seen on the 'gram (@hedleyandbennett) We've partnered up with Chronicle Books to give away an apron & cookbook everyday this week! Yep, ya heard right!  We're pretty excited since they have published some of the coolest cookbooks in the culinary world.  #copilots

So we're pairing the good books with Hedley & Bennett good looks and giving them away!!! One book and apron every day for five days and its REAL easy to enter. So hightail it over to our Instagram and tag your friends! (It's almost too easy!) And then we're also gonna post a recipe each day on the blog, because we are just fancy like that!

First up this week is Plenty, an awesome vegetarian cookbook by the mega amazing London chef Yotam Ottolenghi with gorgeous photos by Jonathan Lovekin. We chose a recipe that you could put together quickly, but not seem like it. Rich, but not decadent, the flavors go together like a boss.

Caramelized Fennel

Caramelized fennel with goat cheese

Goat's curd, a light cheese made from goat’s milk, is known for its soft and creamy, yet not terribly unctuous, texture and for its wonderful freshness. It’s hard to get, though. You'll want to ask around at your local farmers' market or a good cheese shop.

Still, there is no need to get despondent if you can’t find it. There is an abundance of young and fresh goat cheeses that will do the trick equally well. My favorite is Caprini freschi, from Piedmont in Italy.

Serves 4

4 small fennel bulbs
3½ tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fennel seeds
coarse sea salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ cup roughly chopped dill (leaves and stalks)
5 oz young and creamy goat cheese
grated zest of 1 lemon

Start by preparing the fennel bulbs. First take off the leafy fronds and keep them for the garnish. Then slice off some of the root part and remove any tough or brown outer layers, making sure the base still holds everything together. Cut each bulb lengthways into ½-inch-thick slices.

Melt half the butter with half the oil in a large frying pan placed over high heat. When the butter starts to foam add a layer of sliced fennel. Do not overcrowd the pan and don’t turn the fennel over or stir it around in the pan until one side has become light golden, which will take about 2 minutes. Then turn the slices over using tongs and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Continue with the rest of the fennel, using up the remaining butter and oil.

Once all the fennel has been seared, add the sugar, fennel seeds and plenty of salt and pepper to the pan. Fry for 30 seconds, then return all the fennel slices to the pan and caramelize them gently for 1 to 2 minutes (they need to remain firm inside so just allow them to be coated in the melting sugar and seeds). Remove the fennel from the pan and leave to cool down on a plate.

To serve, toss the fennel in a bowl with the garlic and dill. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Arrange on a serving plate and dot with spoonfuls of goat cheese. Finish with a drizzle of oil and a scattering of lemon zest. Garnish with the fennel fronds. Serve at room temperature.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 2 of The #ChronicleKitchen x #ApronSquad Giveaway! #micdrop