A very comforting Ginger tea and Fennel gratin with sour cream and Parmesan

December 5, 2008

Hi everyone,

It seems like everyone’s got a cold at the moment so we thought we’d include Ginger in all our bags this week. Apart from the great taste (try it in any stir-fry to find out) it has amazing antiviral properties which mean that it can help purge the body of colds and viruses as well as boosting the immune system.

My first recipe is for a tea we drink in our house right through the autumn/winter months and it’s so tasty that you may well find yourself brewing it up regardless of whether you have a cold or not………….

Very comforting Ginger,Lemon and Honey Tea (for 2)

Take a 4cm piece of Ginger and slice it into rounds about 1/2 cm thick. Simmer in about 300ml boiling water for about 5 minutes then add the juice of 1 Lemon and 2 Tablespoons Honey before serving.

This tea without the Honey and Lemon is also great for upset stomachs.

Fennel is also in all our bags this week and it’s a variety some of you may not be so familiar with. Crunchy and sweet with a beautiful aniseed flavour it’s an obvious partner for any fish dish but don’t stop there, it’s great with all kinds of roasts.

You can keep things really easy by simply slicing it as thinly as possible then tossing  in lemon juice, a little Salt and your nicest Olive Oil. It can be quartered, tossed in Olive Oil and roasted in the oven, or you can dice it up and slowly saute in Olive Oil until it has almost caramelised (particularly good with any pan-fried fish).

One of my absolute favourite ways to eat Fennel is in a gratin with Sour Cream and Parmesan. Over the summer we went to Kerry where Paul caught lots of Seabass which is now in our freezer. Usually fishing trips  involve sitting in a boat from early morning to late at night waiting  and waiting and waiting (for the big one of course!!) but no fish are actually caught.  This time the gods smiled – a lot! Paul had some killer bait (don’t ask, if I told you he’d have to kill me) and he cleaned up. So far, our favourite way to enjoy it has been panfried with Garlic and Chilli served with mashed Potato with slowcooked Leeks and this amazing Fennel dish. Buy any fish you like and enjoy…

Fennel Gratin with Sour Cream and Parmesan

You’ll need:

500gr Fennel (about what you have in your bag this week)

5 Tablespoons Sour Cream (or nearly all of one those pots you get)

About 4 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Trim your Fennel bulbs (ie remove the herby bits) and slice as thinly as possible. Heat some Olive Oil in a pan and fry your Fennel slices until nicely browned and softened. Remove and mix with the Sour Cream and  about 1/2 Parmesan.Season with Salt and Pepper, top with the rest of the Parmesan and bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes) at about 180 degrees.

Hope you enjoy these recipes,

Have a fantastic weekend,


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