Recipe: Sherry and Orange Caramelised Fennel »

With Goat’s Cheese from How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry

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Sherry & orange fennel, <i>How to Eat a Peach</i>

Sherry & orange fennel, How to Eat a Peach [©Octopus Publishing Group ]

<i>How to Eat a Peach</i> by Diana Henry


In How to Eat a Peach, Diana Henry invites us on a culinary journey across seasons and countries through menus of dishes she beileves work on a succession of flavours.

Of course, you don't have to cook the whole menu and can start anywhere on the adventure! Here's an interesting and relatively easy recipe for fennel.

Diana Henry writes:

You can serve this on its own, or with other Spanish bits that you’ve bought – jamón ibérico de bellota (if you’re pushing the boat out), Ortiz anchovies, slices of fried morcilla – but keep it simple. The meal is already quite rich; over-complication will spoil it.

Make the fennel in advance and serve it at room temperature, though hold back the cheese, hazelnuts and the last flourish of extra virgin olive oil until  just before serving.


Sherry and Orange Caramelised Fennel with Goat's Cheese

Ingredients (seves 6)

  •  teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 20g (¾oz) blanched hazelnuts, halved
  • 5 medium fennel bulbs
  • 15g (½oz) unsalted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 300ml (½ pint) medium sherry
  • juice of ½ large orange, plus zest of 1 orange, removed with a zester
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g (5½oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled


Put the fennel seeds in a mortar and bash them a bit with the pestle, just to bruise them.

Put the nuts in a dry frying pan, place over a medium heat and toast them, stirring frequently, until they turn a shade darker and smell toasted. Set aside.

Trim the tips of the fennel bulbs, removing and reserving any little feathery fronds you see. Quarter the bulbs lengthways and remove the coarse outer leaves. Cut each piece in half again.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the extra virgin olive oil. Cook the fennel pieces over a medium-high heat on each side until they’re golden (about 4 minutes); keep moving them around the pan to colour them more or less evenly.

Add 125ml (4fl oz) of the sherry and the fennel seeds, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 7 minutes.

Now pour in the orange juice and cook for another  7 minutes or so. You want the fennel to be tender but not collapsing (the wedges should keep their shape). Increase the heat, uncover the pan and cook until the juices have almost completely disappeared.

Add the sugar to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds, turning the fennel pieces over, or until slightly caramelized.

Add the rest of the sherry along with most of the orange zest and salt and pepper and cook – again turning the wedges – until the sherry has reduced and the wedges are coated and glossy, but not too dark.

Remove the fennel to a serving plate. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle with the goat’s cheese, hazelnuts, remaining orange zest and the reserved fennel fronds, then finish with more extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe from How To Eat a Peach by Diana Henry is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Read our review of How To Eat a Peach »

See the press release here » 

How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry is published by Octopus Publishing (Great Britain, Apr 2018; Hb; 256pp; RRP A$39.99) and distributed in Australia by Hatchette. It is available at good bookshops and can be purchased online via »


  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

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March 04th, 2019
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