- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 8 sprigs of thyme
- 12 pencil fennel (or 2 baby fennel), trimmed and cut into wedges, fronds reserved
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 4 slices crusty bread, chargrilled
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 strips lemon zest
- ⅓ cup (40g) almond meal
- 1 slice crusty white bread, crust removed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Caramelised Fennel Crostini with Almond Aioli Method:
- To make the almond aioli, place the milk, garlic and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, until the garlic is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Place the milk mixture in a blender (including the garlic and lemon zest) with the almond meal and bread. Blend until smooth. With the motor running gradually add the oil until emulsified and smooth. Set aside.
- To caramelise the fennel, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fennel seeds and thyme and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the fennel and cook, turning, for 4-6 minutes, or until golden.
- Add ¼ cup water, sugar and vinegar, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until the fennel is caramelised.
- To serve, spoon the aioli onto the chargrilled bread slices. Top with fennel and serve sprinkled with chili and reserved fennel fronds.
Known for its characteristic aniseed flavour, fennel adds a unique touch to many Mediterranean dishes. Made up of a white and pale green bulb and stalks, topped with feathery green leaves – which are all edible – fennel is not as well-known for its numerous health benefits. Fennel is a rich source of potassium and is known to aid in the regulation of blood pressure. It also is important in relief from indigestion as it contains natural anti-acidic properties.