Fennel frittata

Fennel frittata

Frittata di finocchi

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

There’s always something to learn at a visit to the market, whether it’s just noticing the seasons in the stall displays or the way certain fruits and vegetables are handled. It’s also common to get advice on how to cook your selected vegetables by fellow market goers or the vendors themselves. It’s a wonderful little exchange of information.

One winter’s day at the Sant’Ambrogio markets, I came across an irresistible pile of fresh, bright fennel, spread over a wooden table. Just as I was beginning to gather the prettiest fennel to take home with me, a woman interrupted me. ‘No, not that one.’ She picked up another bulb of fennel, round and squat, and said, ‘This one.’ She proceeded to explain that the elongated bulb that I was holding was a female fennel, which was stringy and less flavourful compared to the sweet, rounded male fennel. My fennel dishes have never been the same again.

This is a dish of sweetly stewed fennel in a simple, rustic frittata. You could serve this as part of an antipasto or as an easy lunch or a light dinner, perhaps paired with a leafy salad and some good, crusty Tuscan bread.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large fennel bulb
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 eggs, beaten
35g finely grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Trim the fennel by chopping the tops and bottom off (reserving any green fronds for garnish) and cut the bulb roughly into eights. Place in a saucepan of cold water with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook the fennel for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and let it cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Gently heat the olive oil in a frying pan with a heatproof handle. Add the boiled fennel, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the egg, tipping the pan slightly to cover evenly. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and continue to gently cook over a low heat until the eggs are mostly set.
  4. Finish the frittata in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the top of the frittata is cooked and the cheese melted. A nice little crust will form on top. If you don’t have a heatproof frying pan, leave it on the stove top but cover with a lid and cook for a further 5 minutes for a softer version.
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