Fennel, scientifically known as Foeniculum vulgare, is a versatile and aromatic herb with a fascinating history. Native to the Mediterranean region, fennel has been utilised for its culinary and medicinal properties for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans revered fennel for its reputed ability to provide strength and longevity. Interestingly, it was also believed to ward off evil spirits and promote good luck. Fennel's distinctive flavour, reminiscent of licorice and anise, adds a unique touch to a variety of dishes and beverages. Every part of the fennel plant is edible, from the bulb to the feathery leaves and seeds. Besides its culinary uses, fennel is also renowned for its potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion and providing antioxidants. Whether incorporated into salads, roasted with vegetables, or infused into teas, fennel continues to captivate taste buds and offer a touch of ancient wisdom to modern cuisine.
- 2 fennels cut into quarters and trimmed of top bits
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- pinch salt and pepper
- 200ml liquid vegan chicken stock
- splash of red wine vinegar
- 1 pastry sheet thawed slightly so pliable
- extra butter to brush pastry sheet with
- Drizzle of balsamic glaze
- Pre heat oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Heat butter in an oven proof fry pan. (25cm) Add the fennels and stir for a few minutes. Then add the sugar, salt and pepper, red wine vinegard and stock. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Add the piece of pastry on top and tuck around the edges.
- Bake in oven at 180°C for 30 to 35 mins till the top of pastry is all crisp.
Flip out the tart onto a plate and drizzle with balsamic glaze and decorate with a few fresh herbs if desired.