Roast fennel, new potato and tomato stew

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» Roast fennel, new potato and tomato stew

Carbon emissions per serving: 1.04kg

Extract taken from River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26) 

Laced with spicy-hot harissa paste and a sprinkling of salty preserved lemon, this rich vegetable stew has a tempting Moroccan feel to it. 


  • 3 medium-large fennel bulbs (about 1kg in total)
  • 600–700g new or waxy potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2–3cm chunks
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1–2 sprigs of rosemary (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil 
  • 700ml tomato passata
  • 1 rounded tbsp harissa  paste
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 75g pitted olives (about 100g stone-in)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon, to finish


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas Mark 5.

  2. Trim the fennel bulbs of their bases, tops and tough outer layer, reserving any green feathery fronds attached to the stalks. Quarter the bulbs then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. Put these into a large roasting dish.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes and garlic. Throw in the rosemary if you have it, trickle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and stir everything together. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, giving the veg a good stir after about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a jug, combine the passata with 150ml water and stir in the harissa.
  5. When the veg are tender and starting to brown, take the dish out of the oven and add the passata mixture. Stir it in well with a spatula, using the passata to deglaze the roasting dish, scraping up any nice bits of caramelised veg from the base and sides.
  6. Add the chickpeas and olives then return the dish to the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the passata is bubbling and slightly reduced.
  7. When the bubbling dish of veg comes out of the oven, taste it, then sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Scatter over the preserved lemon, tear over any saved fennel fronds and then bring the dish to the table. Serve with more harissa if you like things spicy.
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