Diana Henry's Roast Tomatoes, Fennel and Chickpeas with Preserved Lemons, Coriander and Honey

"The recipe I have on high rotation at the moment is Roast Tomatoes, Fennel & Chickpeas with preserved lemons and honey from the book "How to Eat a Peach" by the fabulous Diana Henry."

Lorrie Graham, 2023 #bakedinmud winner

Serves 6


10 large plum tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp harissa
2 tsp caster sugar

For the Fennel
2 large bulbs fennel
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 generous pinch dried chilli flakes
2 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the dressing
2 small preserved lemons, plus 2 tsp juice from jar
2 tbsp white-win vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp runny honey
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp coriander, chopped


Heat the oven to 190C fan forced

Lay the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin. Mix together the oil, balsamic and harissa and pour this over the tomatoes, coating them well. Sprinkle, cut-side up with the sugar and harissa.

Quarter the fennel bulbs. Trim and remove any coarse outer leaves. Pull off any tender fronds (reserve these) and cut each piece of the fennel into 2 1/2 cm-thick wedges.

Toss in a bowl with the lemon juice (it stops the flesh discolouring). Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli, and olive oil. Season and turn everything over with your hands.

Spread the fennel in another roasting tin and cover tightly with foil. Roast the fennel for 25-30 minutes, until tender (the undersides should be pale gold), then remove the foil and roast for another 5-10 minutes, or until soft and slightly charred in patches.

Roast the tomatoes for 35-40 minutes or until caramelised in patches. Stir the chickpeas into the fennel and taste for seasoning.

Leave both fennel and tomatoes to cool to room temperature. Discard the flesh from inside the lemons and dice the skin.

Whisk the white-wine vinegar with the preserved lemon juice and honey.

Add the oil, season, and add the lemon skin and coriander. Taste for seasoning and sweet-sour balance.

Arrange the vegetable on a plate or in a broad shallow bowl ( adding all the juices from the roasting tins).

Scatter any fennel fronds you reserved over the top and spoon on the dressing.