Steamed Fennel

11:30 am on 25 September 2017

Serves 4

PREPARATION: 10 minutes / COOKING: 15–20 minutes


  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • large piece of butter
  • salt


  • 50 ml/2 fl oz (1/4 cup) double
  • (heavy) cream
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • piece of butter
  • chopped fennel fronds, to serve


The aniseed flavour of fennel is really quite subtle, but distinct enough to make a delicious contrast to other

vegetables. It makes a lovely addition to a traditional roast meal, or is a good accompaniment to fish and chicken.

Trim the top off the fennel close to the bulb and wash thoroughly, especially around the base. Cut each bulb

lengthwise into 4 pieces, then cut these in half across the middle. (You can do more cleaning at this stage

if necessary.) Put the fennel into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Melt the butter in the empty pan over low heat, add the fennel and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes, turning

now and again. Cream may be added near the end, and a sprinkling of Parmesan before serving, if desired. Garnish

with the fronds to serve.

If you like the idea of including onion and garlic, soften them in the piece of butter in a separate covered pan while the

fennel is boiling. Add the drained fennel and another piece of butter, and continue to cook with the lid off for another

5 minutes. Add the cream and Parmesan as specified above if desired.

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