Last year we had had every intention of highlighting recipes from Genevieve Taylor’s book – “Charred”. I really think that this is a great book for those of us wanting to try more vegetarian cooking. Especially those of us wanting to explore it when cooking outside especially over wood and charcoal. Things like the Coronavirus Pandemic have got in the way but we are going to try and publish when we can this year!
The first of these is this ‘Caramelised Fennel and Orange dish’! We know from our own slow roasted caramelised fennel dish just how well fennel responds to this type of cooking. Limited shopping opportunities during the pandemic and personal cooking interests has led to some small variations to Genevieve Taylor’s recipe. But it has worked really well and we are delighted to share it here.
We may as well start with the principal difference! We had a tub of ricotta but no goat’s cheese. Instead of goat’s cheese whipped with cream, we used Ricotta infused with orange and thyme. We used about two thirds of a 250g tub of ricotta and added the zest of half an orange and the leaves of 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme. To this was added enough of the juice of the orange to allow the ricotta to be whipped into a soft cream. This was then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and was set to one side. We found the following day that this mix works very well with baked potatoes (and that in the absence of any fresh orange juice, Cointreau or Grand Marnier works well too!)
On to the cooking itself. We sliced the fennel along the bulb and through the root in slices around 5-7mm thick. These were tossed in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and put in the BGE MiniMax Skillet and onto the BGE (which was ticking over at around 180C) to caramelise in the pan. This just meant keeping an eye on the fennel until it took on some colour and began to soften. The hot pan was then removed and the fennel continued to cook in the heat of the pan. Whilst the fennel was cooking we had partly jested an orange and cut it into slices which had then been halved.
These were tossed in a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and put on the grill over the open flame.
The idea was to just slightly ‘char’ the pieces of orange – particularly the peel. Once this was nearly completed the final cooked element of the dish was introduced to the BGE.
The final element was a tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed with an added clove of garlic – finally chopped. The pan had a little olive oil stirred through and was put on the BGE to warm through. Once all the elements had been cooked, all that was left to do was assemble the dish. Firstly the Butter beans and garlic were divided between the 2 plates. On to these followed the fennel and the burnt orange. This was then topped off by a generous helping of the orange and thyme infused ricotta and finally a handful of chopped black olives. The dish was finished with some thyme flowers, a few fennel fronds and the last of the orange zest.
I have to say here – I am not by any stretch of imagination a vegetarian – but this is a wonderful, satisfying vegetarian (or if you prefer – plant based) dish. Infact it is just a wonderful dish!!
Do give it a go………..
…………. we will certainly be doing it again!
Caramelised fennel and burnt orange with infused ricotta, butterbeans and black olives
Caramelised fennel and burnt orange - on top of garlic butter beans - set off with orange and thyme infused ricotta and black olives
- Around 180g Ricotta
- Zest of an orange
- Fresh thyme leaves from 3-4 stems
- A little orange juice or orange liqueur
- Salt and pepper
- Large fennel bulb sliced around 5-7mm thick, through the root end
- One orange sliced and then cut into semicircles
- Handful of black olives chopped
- 400g can of butter beans drained and washed
- 1 garlic clove finally diced
- Step 1 Take around 2/3 of a 250g tub of ricotta and add the zest of half an orange and the leaves of 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme. Then add enough of the juice of the orange to allow the ricotta to be whipped into a soft cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then set to one side.
- Step 2 Slice the fennel along through the root in slices around 5-7mm thick. Toss these in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and put in a Skillet to caramelise on the BGE direct at around 180C. Keep an eye on the fennel until it takes on some colour and begins to soften. Remove the skillet and allow the fennel to continue to cook in the hot pan.
- Step 3 Toss the orange slices in a little olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper and put on the grill over the open flame. Allow these to char a little. Once this is nearly completed add the washed butter beans to a second pan with the chopped garlic and a little oil and put on the BGE to warm through.
- Step 4 If cooking on one EGG at this point you may need to just reheat the fennel for around 1 min before assembling the dish. Firstly divide the Butter beans and garlic between the 2 plates. On to these add the fennel and the burnt orange. Top these off with a generous helping of the orange and thyme infused ricotta and finally a handful of chopped black olives. Finish with some thyme flowers, a few fennel fronds and the last of the orange zest. Serve warm