He’s ditched the meat, and now he’s mad about veg. But what will Hugh FW cook up when he receives a mystery package from our Welsh gardening wonder Terry Walton? Hugh's roast Fennel, new potato and tomato stew, that's what!
Recipe taken from: Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Laced with spicy-hot harissa paste and a sprinkling od salty preserved lemon, this rich vegetable stew has a tempting Moroccan feel to it. Eat with a simple green salad, or add a bowlful of colourful, crunchy, Moroccan carrot blitz.
3 medium – large fennel bulbs (about 1kg in total)
600g-700g new or waxy potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-3cm chunks.
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
300g cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1-2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
700ml tomato passata
1 rounded tbsp harissa paste
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
75g pitted olives (about 100g stone in)
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon, to finish
Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5.
Trim the fennel bulbs of their bases, tops and outer layer, reserving any green feathery fronds attached to the stalks. Quarter the bulbs and then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. Put these into a large roasting dish.
Add the potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes and garlic. Throw in the rosemary if you have it, trickle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and stir everything together. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, giving the veg a good stir after about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile in a jug, combine the passata with 150ml water and stir in the harissa.
When the veg are tender and starting to brown, take the dish out of the oven and add the passata mixture. Stir in well with a spatula, using the passata to deglaze the roasting dish, scraping up any nice bits of caramelized veg from the base and sides.
Add the chickpeas and olives then return to the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the passata is bubbling and slightly reduced.
When the bubbling dish of veg comes out of the oven, taste it, then sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Scatter over the preserved lemon, tear away any saved fennel fronds and then bring the dish to the table. Serve with more harissa if you like things spicy.
Veg: use roughly chopped red, orange or yellow pepper (or all three) as an alternative to fennel.
Pulses: Instead of chickpeas, add white beans such as cannellini or butter beans.
Moroccan carrot blitz
3 medium carrots (about 300g in total)
½ medium red onion, roughly chopped
50g pitted olives (about 70g stone-in)
2 small or ½ large preserved lemon
1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded
A small bunch of coriander (about 25g), roughly chopped, including tender stalks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Peel the carrots and slice into 3-4 mm thick slices. Put them into a food processor with the red onion and green olives.
Remove any pips from the preserved lemon, then roughly chop the rest (including the flesh) and add to the processor. Add the chilli, coriander, olive oil and a twist of black pepper.
Blitz to a well – chopped evenly mixed consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides of your processor once or twice. The idea is not to blitz it too much – you don’t want a paste but a nicely chunky mix in which you can still distinguish the individual ingredients.
Taste the mixture and add salt if you like – but you will almost certainly find the olives and preserved lemon make it salty enough.
Serve the blitz straight away or keep it in a plastic tub in the fridge and use within 3 days.