Friday, September 26, 2008

Crumbed Fennel Wedges with Red Pepper and Chili Sauce

Serve as an appetizer, a side dish to accompany roast chicken or roast beef, or as part of an antipasto platter. Recipe serves 4-6.


4 baby fennel, quartered
1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, made from day-old white bread
Olive oil, for shallow-frying
Red Pepper and Chili Sauce:
5 inch (12.5 cm) piece day-old French bread, crust removed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 roast red peppers, peeled and seeded
1 fresh small red chili, or to taste, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (available from Middle Eastern food stores), or to taste


1. For the sauce, soak bread in cold water for 2 minutes, then squeeze out excess. Combine bread, garlic, pepper, chili and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a food processor and process until smooth. Add oil in a steady stream, with motor running, until sauce is well combined. Season to taste with pomegranate molasses and salt and ground black pepper.
2. Add fennel wedges to a pan of boiling water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until tender. Toss wedges in flour and dip in egg. Toss in breadcrumbs to coat. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow-fry fennel in batches until well browned all over. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately with Red Pepper and Chili Sauce.

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