CHEF MCLEOD REVEALS THE VERSATILITY OF AN ANISEED FLAVOURED FAVOURITE
Fennel has three distinct lives; the first is the vibrant, verdant frond with a Mediterranean vibe — great in risotto, mashed potato or a vinaigrette. The second life is the first thick layer of the bulb, which has fabulous flavour but is not particularly tender. When presented with this, I chop it coarsely and cook it slowly as a relish/confit punctuated with anchovy and orange juice. The third life is the firm white bulb, which can be enjoyed roasted, grilled or raw.
SPICED SALMON, FENNEL AND BUFFALO MOZZARELLA SALAD Serves: 4 SPICED SALMON:
3 tsp coriander seeds
1½ tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest 2 tsp sea salt
4 x 170g fillets salmon
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, bulbs, stems, and fronds separated 1 cup green olives
¼ cup olive oil
1½ tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp finely grated orange zest Pinch Aleppo chilli
Sea salt and freshly milled pepper
1 ball buffalo mozzarella, torn
METHOD FOR THE SPICED SALMON:
Toast coriander seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, until golden and aromatic. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Crush in a pestle and mortar then stir in paprika, zest and salt. Coat salmon fillets with the rub and set aside. Preheat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and when it simmers, place salmon fillets into the pan, sear for 4 minutes, without moving then turn and remove pan from the heat. Leave fish undisturbed for 2 minutes then remove from pan and rest on a plate for a further 3 minutes. Arrange mozzarella on plates followed by the olive mixture then the shaved fennel and salmon.
FOR THE FENNEL SALAD:
Slice fennel stems thinly and place in a medium bowl.
Coarsely chop fennel fronds and add to bowl. Pit olives and coarsely chop. Add to fennel with olive oil, vinegar, zest, and chilli, season generously and toss to combine. Halve fennel bulbs lengthwise then thinly slice cross-wise. Transfer to a large bowl, add zest and juice of the orange and season.