Grilled fennel with goat’s curd, honey and hazelnut picada

Grilled fennel with goat’s curd, honey and hazelnut picada

By
From
Grill Smoke BBQ
Serves
4
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

As these thick slices of fennel soften and char on the grill, their natural juices are concentrated and caramelized, with delicious results. Picada is a North-African kitchen stalwart; it can be used to thicken stews and sauces, or to add an interesting, crunchy element to a dish, as I’ve done here.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium fennel bulbs
olive oil, for cooking
1 slice day-old bread, crusts removed
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons runny blossom honey
125g goat’s curd or very mild, soft goat’s cheese
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
  2. Trim the fennel bulbs and cut them into thick slices lengthwise. Season the fennel slices and drizzle them with olive oil, then lay them on the grill in the direct heat zone. Grill for 2 minutes on each side to char, then move to the indirect heat zone and close the lid of the barbecue. Cook for 7 minutes before turning the fennel and cooking for a further 5 minutes until it is very tender and nicely charred. When the fennel is done, move it to the edge of the barbecue to keep warm while you make the picada.
  3. Place a frying pan in the direct heat zone and add a good lug of olive oil. Rip the bread into small pieces and throw into the pan. Season well and fry until the bread turns a light golden brown before adding the hazelnuts. Cook for 3–4 minutes until both the bread and the nuts are a deep golden brown, moving the pan from direct to indirect heat as needed, so the nuts don’t burn. Transfer the nuts and bread to a bowl and add the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, roughly crush the bread and nuts into the oil and vinegar to make a rough, loose paste.
  4. Place the grilled fennel on plates, spoon over the picada and drizzle with honey, then serve with the goat’s curd on the side.

Serve with

  • Chilli-spiked grilled mackerel with lemon pickle, young spinach and sumac; Cuttlefish with squash, nduja and marjoram; Smoked cod with white beans, clams and parsley; Lamb chops with smoky aubergine and salsa verde.
Tags:
Ember Yard
Salt Yard
Dehesa
Opera Tavern
Soho restaurants
Italian
French
small plates
tapas
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