200 gmcoarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbs50 gmclarified butter, melted (see note)1/3 cup (firmly packed)flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped1 tbspthyme leavesFinelygrated rind of 2 lemons3fennel bulbs, cut into 6 wedges100 gmbutter
Preheat oven to 170C. Combine breadcrumbs and clarified butter in a bowl, season to taste, scatter mixture on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted (5-10 minutes). Add parsley, thyme and lemon rind and set aside.
Place fennel in a saucepan large enough to fit fennel snugly in a single layer, dot with butter, add 1 litre water, cover closely with baking paper, cook over medium heat until tender (10-15 minutes). Remove fennel (reserve 150ml cooking liquid), transfer to a 1.5-litre baking dish. Pour reserved liquid over fennel, season to taste, scatter with breadcrumb mixture, bake until golden (20-30 minutes). Serve hot.
Note You'll need about 75gm butter to yield 50gm clarified
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet