Baked Fennel & Walnut Salad

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

food painting for the vegetarian cookbook by Fiona Morgan
Chunky. Fresh. Warm. Unusual.


Food painting artwork

30 x 30cm ink and graphite on paper. The paper is no ordinary paper, it is textured Hahnemuhle 300 gsm 100% alpha cellulose which is acid-free fibre of vegetable origin. 

When I was perusing the gallery shop at the Tate Britain one time I stumbled across a neat little book of amusing gardening quotes accompanied by quirky, thoughtful illustrations. Their style was the very distinct work of the much lauded Laura Stoddart. The book in question is Up the Garden Path: a Little Anthology which I promptly bought. It really is a lovely piece of work and most gardeners would appreciate it. Anyway, this painting is inspired by the distinct flowers of the fennel plant colliding with the elongated, gentle and watery style of Laura Stoddart.

By the way, all the food painting artwork is available to own in the Official Art Store.


Baked Fennel and Walnut salad - the vegetarian dinner recipe

Fresh fennel is a strong flavour that people are usually black and white about. It's a love or hate reaction. However, baked fennel is much, much, much milder and although it still has hints of anise, most people are quite happy to chow down on it.

about 800g fennel
1 large red capsicum, cut into big chunks of about 2 inches
several tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dried puy lentils
2 bay leaves
1/8 onion, very finely sliced
75g walnuts, broken into pieces
1 cup roughly chopped parsley leaves, about 15g
parmesan to taste

Remove the stalks from the fennel and discard. They tend to be quite tough and stalky. Cut the fennel bulb into quarters like an apple and then cut out the core and discard. Chop the remaining bulb pieces into big chunks of about 2 inches. Separate the layers of the fennel chunks.
Put the fennel and capsicum chunks into a baking dish with the lemon juice, a sprinkling of salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
Bake at 200C for 40 minutes and remember to stir at half time.
Meanwhile, boil the lentils in lightly salted water with the bay leaves. They take around 20 minutes.
When done, drain and rinse thoroughly under warm water and discard the bay leaves.
Combine the baked fennel and capsicum, cooked lentils, raw onion, fresh parsley and walnuts in a big bowl.
Serve with parmesan to taste.

Makes a meal for 2 and goes really well with crusty bread slathered in butter.


More vegetarian recipes

Need help with conversions? Download this handy dandy pdf of cooking conversion charts for every cooking measuring system I could find. It should make your life easier.

Want to check out more vegetarian dinner recipes? They're all in the Table of Contents.

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