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Milk-braised fennel with thyme breadcrumbs recipe

Milk-braised fennel with thyme breadcrumbs recipe

6 ratings

Impress dinner guests with this creamy milk-braised fennel dish, packed with vegetarian hard cheese (or Parmesan) and topped with a thyme breadcrumb crust. This flavoursome side makes the most of season's best fennel and it's distinctive aniseed-like flavour. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook
  • 148 calories / serving
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, thickly sliced
  • 250ml (8 fl oz) whole milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 25g (1oz) vegetarian hard cheese or Parmesan, finely grated
If you haven't got any white bread, try using brown instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    8g 11%
  • Saturates

    3g 16%
  • Sugars

    7g 7%
  • Salt

    0.6g 11%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 13.4g Protein 7.3g Fibre 6.6g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the fennel and cook, turning until lightly golden and just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a small pan set over a medium heat. Add the garlic and half the thyme leaves and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Arrange half the fennel in a 1.5ltr (2 1/2pt) dish and pour over half the infused milk. Then add the remaining fennel and the remaining milk.
  5. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, remaining thyme leaves, grated cheese and seasoning.
  6. Scatter the breadcrumb mixture over the fennel and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the fennel is tender and the topping golden. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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