Braised fennel with bacon, pear and watercress
SERVES 4 PREP AND COOK TIME 25 MINUTES
6 (220g) shortcut bacon rashers, sliced finely
2 large (700g) fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into thin wedges
½ cup (125ml) apple juice
1 medium (230g) green pear, sliced finely, julienned
1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 DRESSING: Place all ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake to combine.
2 Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring, until it is crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. 3 Add the fennel and apple juice to the pan; cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and continue to cook the fennel, uncovered, turning once, until the liquid has evaporated.
4 Transfer the fennel to a serving dish and add the pear and watercress. Top with the bacon pieces and drizzle with the Dressing. Not suitable to freeze or microwave.
The sweetness of the braised fennel and pear is beautifully off-set by the saltiness of the bacon and peppery bite of the watercress.