ROAST TOMA­TOES, FEN­NEL & CHICK­PEAS WITH PRE­SERVED LEMONS & HONEY

Epicure - - COOKBOOK CRITIC -

Serves 6

for the toma­toes

10 large plum toma­toes

3 tbsp reg­u­lar olive oil

1 tbsp bal­samic vine­gar

1½ tbsp harissa

2 tsp caster sugar sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pep­per

• Pre­heat the oven to 190°C/375°f/gas mark 5. • Halve the toma­toes length­ways and lay in a sin­gle layer in a roast­ing tin or oven­proof dish. Mix the reg­u­lar olive oil, bal­samic vine­gar and harissa and pour this over the toma­toes, toss­ing to coat well, then turn the toma­toes cut sides up. Sprin­kle with the sugar and sea­son.

for the fen­nel

2 large fen­nel bulbs juice of ½ lemon 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed

½ tsp fen­nel seeds, coarsely crushed in a mor­tar gen­er­ous pinch of chilli flakes

2½ tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 400g can of chick­peas, drained and rinsed

• Quar­ter the fen­nel bulbs, cut off the stalks and re­move any coarse outer leaves. Pull off any ten­der fronds (re­serve th­ese) and cut each piece of fen­nel into 2.5cm- (1in-) thick wedges, keep­ing them in­tact at the base. Toss in a bowl with the lemon juice (it stops them dis­colour­ing). Add the gar­lic, fen­nel seeds, chilli and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, then sea­son and turn ev­ery­thing over with your hands. Spread out the fen­nel in a sec­ond roast­ing tin and cover tightly with foil.

• Put both trays in the oven. Roast the fen­nel for 25–30 min­utes, un­til ten­der (the un­der­sides should be pale gold), then re­move the foil and roast for an­other 5–10 min­utes, or un­til soft, golden and slightly charred. Roast the toma­toes for 35–40 min­utes, or un­til caramelized in patches and slightly shrunken. Stir the chick­peas into the fen­nel and taste for sea­son­ing. Leave both to cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

for the dress­ing

2 small pre­served lemons, plus 2 tsp juice from the jar

2 tbsp white wine vine­gar

1½ tbsp runny honey

5 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

4 tbsp chopped co­rian­der

• Now make the dress­ing. Dis­card the flesh from the pre­served lemons and cut the rind into dice. Whisk the wine vine­gar with the pre­served lemon juice, honey and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, sea­son and add the lemon rind and co­rian­der. Taste for sea­son­ing and sweet-sour bal­ance.

• Ar­range the fen­nel, chick­peas and toma­toes on a plat­ter, adding all the juices from the roast­ing tins; there might be quite a bit from the toma­toes. Scat­ter any fen­nel fronds you re­served over the top. Spoon on the dress­ing, or serve it on the side.

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