Ruth Rogers' patate e finocchida Lucca (roast potatoes and fennel from Lucca)

Ruth Rogers is a chef at and co-founder of the River Café. 

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Serves: 6


2 fennel bulbs

750g waxy potatoes (such as charlotte), peeled and cut into 1cm slices

1 tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp chilli flakes or 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 red onion, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, whole but lightly crushed

3 bay leaves

6 thyme sprigs

2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked

100ml white wine

5 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Discard the outer layer of the fennel. Cut the bulbs into 1cm slices; reserve the fronds. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes; drain and mix well with the remaining ingredients.

2. Spread everything about 2 slices deep in a roasting tin and cover tightly with foil; bake for 25 minutes. Uncover; turn the potatoes to slightly crush them. Bake for 30-40 minutes more, until crisp and golden on top. Scatter over the fronds to serve.