Shallots and Fennel with Sherry Vinegar

You can make this dish in advance and warm through for 10 minutes if required.

Description

A pleasing combination of sweet and sour, this dish accompanies most roasts well but with pork it is particularly good. Try to choose a bulb of fennel with plenty of base left attached, as this will help it stay in attractive pieces as it cooks.

Method

1. Heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Peel the shallots and slice in half lengthways. Add to a large baking tray, dress with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven to roast for 10 minutes. 

3. Trim off a very thin sliver from the back of the fennel, leaving enough core to hold it together. Cut in half, and cut each half carefully into four, ensuring that each piece is attached to a piece of core (it helps to cut the fennel cor-side up). 

4. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add a large slug of olive oil, add the fennel pieces cut-side down, and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Sear for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until both cut sides are golden brown. 

5. When the 10 minutes are up, remove the baking dish from the oven, turn over the shallots and add the caramelised fennel. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

6. Meanwhile, finely dice the tomato placing it and its seeds into a small bowl. Add the vinegar and honey and stir well. 

7. When the 20 minutes are up, add the tomato dressing to the baking dish and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Ingredients

4-6 banana shallots, depending on size
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 large bulb fennel
1 large ripe tomato
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp runny honey