Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gooseberry and Fennel Sauce

A quick plea for the underused gooseberry before the season is gone for another year. At least, I think the poor old gooseberry is underused. They're lovely in puddings and ices and they make very fine jam but I look forward to gooseberry season so that I can use them in savoury dishes.

I've wittered on about gooseberry sauces before but this year I've tried combining them with fennel and a fine combination it turned out to be. This sauce is very easy to make and freezes well. It works beautifully with simply cooked white fish, such as bream, but will also sit very happily alongside chicken or richer meats like duck or pork. I use the classic, sharper gooseberries for this kind of sauce rather than the sweeter, modern dessert types.
Gooseberry and Fennel Sauce
This sauce is not short of flavour and so should make plenty for four people.  

1 small to medium bulb of fennel, chopped quite finely
400 g gooseberries
50 g dried apricots, soaked if they need it
½ tsp dark soy sauce
A generous pinch or two of pepper
A dash of water
1 - 2 (and possibly a few more) tsp sugar, if the sauce needs it

Put all the ingredients except the sugar into a non-reactive pan and place on a gentle heat. Cover and let it simmer until the fennel has softened, the gooseberries have collapsed and the apricots have swollen up and softened. Let the mixture cool a little then liquidise the whole lot. Add a little more water if the sauce seems too thick. Taste and add as much sugar as you think you need. Reheat to serve.
Gooseberry and Fennel Sauce

7 comments:

  1. It sounds delicious, especially to a gooseberry fan like me, and very simple to make, too. I often find the idea of a making a sauce just one step too many when you're juggling timings and trying to get everything to be cooked at the same time, so a sauce you can make and reheat later solves the problem - something which doesn't seem to work with the old parsley sauce, unless you're fond of lumps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I first came across gooseberry sauces in restaurants and they know a thing or two about easy to use and reheat sauces. I'm very willing to admit that I'm not much of a last minute cook.

      Delete
  2. A great use for gooseberries and it sounds delicious. I agree that gooseberries are much underrated, but finding them here is impossible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we need a national Save Our Gooseberries campaign. If they were only available as expensive imports then they might be trendier.

      Delete
  3. If only I had gooseberries to play with Phil, I would make this for sure. I may not eat meat, but I bet it would go really well with grilled halloumi - yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd not thought of a halloumi variation but I think you're absolutely right. Thanks for that.

      Delete
  4. This looks and sounds very intriguing Phil!!

    ReplyDelete

Sorry but I've had to switch word verification on due to a vast amount of very depressing spam.