Roasted fennel with fresh figs and basil

Finally figs are in season again! I love the combination of sweet and savoury flavours, and in this simple dish, the fennel is enhanced by brown sugar and the fresh fruity flavor of the figs. Add some basil for an additional note of sweetness. You could eat this with baguette as a snack, or turn it into a nice appetizer or side dish.

Ingredients (for two):

Two small fennel bulbs or one big one
Four fresh figs
One teaspoon of olive oil
One teaspoon of brown sugar
One teaspoon of cream
Half a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
Half a lemon
Salt and white pepper
A few basil leaves

Preparation:

Cut the fennel in half, cut off the bottom and remove the tough inner part. Cut it into thin slices, including any green leaves that may be left on top. Heat the oil in a pan, add the fennel and roast over high heat so it gets a little brown. Add the sugar and let it caramelize with the fennel, stirring well. Deglaze with the balsamic vinegar. Lower the heat, add two or three teaspoons of water and let the fennel cook for three to five minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Cut the figs into halves or quarters. When the fennel is almost done, add the figs, let them heat up for a minute or so, then season again with salt and pepper. When serving, add a few drops of lemon juice and some fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

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