Roast Beetroot & Fennel.


This is a superb accompaniment for Poached Salmon, or indeed any other fish dish, and also works well with poultry. I don’t eat red meat or Game but I imagine that this would probably work quite well with a decent Pork fillet or Partridge, Pheasant or Duck. I’d be interested in any feedback from anyone who tries this with such dishes.


Ingredients (to serve 6):


2 Lbs beetroot (before peeling)

2 Lbs fennel bulb(s) (before trimming)

4 oz butter

Juice of 1 lime

Seasoning to taste


Method:


Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6.


Use about 2 oz of the butter to thoroughly coat the base of a good roasting dish.


Squeeze all the juice from the lime into a shallow dish.


Peel the beetroot (mind your clothes with the juice!) and slice as thinly as you can – if you have a mandolin this will help. Scatter the slices over the base of the roasting dish.


Cut off any remaining stems on the fennel bulb(s) and then cut the bulb(s) into wedges from top to bottom – you should get about 8 wedges from a decent sized bulb. Place the wedges into the lime juice for a few seconds and then turn them over so the other side sits in the juice. (You’ll be surprised how much lime juice is absorbed).


Scatter the Fennel wedges over the beetroot slices and then divide the remaining butter equally between the fennel wedges, placing it in knobs on top of each slice.


If there is any lime juice left tip it into the dish.


Cover with foil and bake at the top of the oven for 20 minutes, then take out of the oven, remove the foil, turn over the fennel wedges with a fish slice and return, without foil, to the oven for a further 30 to 40 minutes, until the fennel is tender.


If needs be the dish can be re-covered with foil and the beetroot and fennel kept warm on the floor of the oven if the rest of the meal needs further cooking, but don’t keep it too long like this or the beetroot will turn into crisps!