Meatballs with Fennel and Ricotta

We know that we've been talking a lot recently about comfort food. The truth is really, that during the this strange time we're all experiencing and the lack of human contact, there's nothing better than plate of something delicious and comforting to lift us up and give us a big culinary hug.

Serves 2

8 veal meatballs of 50g each (bought from a butcher or self-made)
250g ricotta
2 onions
2 bulbs fennel
30g panko
1/2 chicken stock cube
30g grated Parmesan
35g pine nuts
600g floury potatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
splash of milk
50g butter
salt and pepper

Preheat an oven to 200°C. Finely slice the onion and fennel. Reserve the green herby ends of the fennel.  Dissolve ½ the stock cube in 200 ml hot water. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until soft. Drain off the water and mash the potatoes. Add 50 g butter and a splash of milk, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over a low heat.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sweat the onions for 10 minutes until golden brown. Add the fennel and fry for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the stock and boil to reduce by half. Transfer to a roasting dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden. Add to the roasting dish with the onions and fennel.

Spoon the ricotta around the meatballs and sprinkle over the grated Parmesan, panko and pine nuts. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the top is lightly coloured.

Finely chop the reserved herby fennel. Reheat the mashed potatoes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and sprinkle over the chopped fennel. Serve with the mashed potatoes.



voor 2 personen

8 kalfsgehaktballetjes van 50gr per stuk (gekocht of zelfgemaakt)
250gr ricotta
2 uien
2 venkel
30gr panko
1/2 kippenbouillon blokje
30gr geraspte Parmezaan
25gr pijnboompitjes
600gr kruimige aardappels
5 eetlepels olijfolie
scheutje melk
50gr boter
zout en peper

Verwarm een oven voor op 200° C. Snijd de uien en venkel fijn. Bewaar het groen van de venkel. Los ½ van het bouillonblokje op in 200 ml warm water. Schil de aardappels en snijd ze in stukken. Breng ze in een pan met koud water en zout aan de kook. Kook ze zachtjes ongeveer 15 minuten totdat ze zacht zijn. Giet het water van de aardappelen af en stamp ze fijn. Voeg 50 gr boter en een scheutje melk toe. Breng op smaak met zout en peper en houd warm op een laag vuurtje.

Verwarm een koekenpan met 3 eetlepels olijfolie en smoor de uien in 10 minuten goudbruin. Voeg de venkel toe en bak nog eens 5 minuten, breng op smaak met zout en peper.

Voeg de bouillon toe en laat voor de helft inkoken. Doe ze in een ovenschaal. Voeg 2 eetlepels olijfolie toe in een koekenpan en bak de gehaktballetjes rondom goudbruin. Voeg ze toe aan de ovenschaal met de uien en venkel.

Lepel de ricotta eromheen en besprenkel met de geraspte Parmezaan, broodkruim en pijnboompitjes. Zet in de oven ongeveer 12-15 minuten, totdat de bovenkant licht gekleurd is

Hak het groen van de venkel fijn. Verwarm de aardappelpuree. Haal de gehaktballetjes uit de oven, bestrooi met het venkelgroen en serveer met de aardappelpuree.

Light summer salad

As a light lunch for 3 or for 4 as starter

500g cooked organic beetroot
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
50g curly kale leaves
70ml creme fraiche
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 fennel bulb
100g sliced smoked halibut
1 lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Cut the beetroot into thin segments and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and leave to marinate.

Shave the fennel thinly on a mandolin or with a sharp knife and place in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice to taste, salt and pepper. Leave this too to marinate.

Mix the creme fraiche with the horseradish, salt and pepper and set aside.

To serve, spoon some of the horseradish creme fraiche on the base of each plate. Top with the shaved fennel, followed by the beetroot.

Drape pieces of the smoked halibut around and top with the curly kale leaves. Drizzle over the dressing left from marinating the beetroot and serve.


Cauliflower and Fennel Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing

This is a fantastic spring salad which is filling enough to be a complete meal. It's also completely vegan.


Serves 2

2 fennel bulbs
1 small cauliflower
60g smoked almonds
1/4 preserved lemon
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons agave syrup of coconut sugar
1 container mustard cress
1 bunch watercress
5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and epper

Preheat an oven to 220°C. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and the fennel, lengthways into 6 wedges. Finely slice the garlic.

Place the cut vegetables on a roasting tray and drizzle over 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on the vegetables that they don’t get too dark).

Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely chop the skin. Place the garlic, agave or coconut sugar and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a container. Add a splash of water and blend to a dressing with a stick blender.

Coarsely chop the almonds and remove the tough stalks from the watercress.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and gently transfer to a serving platter. Scatter the watercress over the vegetables and spoon over the dressing. Snip the mustard cress and sprinkle over the warm salad together with the smoked almonds.


2 personen

2 venkel
1 klein bloemkooltje
60g gerookte amandelen
1/4 stuk ingemaakte citroen
2 teentjes knoflook
2 theelepels agave of kokossuiker
1 bakje tuinkers
1 bos waterkers
5 eetlepels olijfolie
zout en peper

Warm de oven voor op 220 C. Snijd de bloemkool in grove stukken en de venkel over de lengte in 6 parten. Snijd knoflookteentjes in plakjes.

Leg de gesneden groenten op een ovenplaat en sprenkel er 3 eetlepels olijfolie overheen. Bestrooi met zout en peper. Zet plaat in de oven voor 20-25 minuten (houd goed in de gaten of het niet te donker wordt).

Verwijder het vruchtvlees van de ingemaakte citroen en snijd ¼ van de citroen fijn. Doe de knoflook, citroen, agave of kokossuiker, 2 eetlepels olijfolie in een bakje. Verdun met wat water en maak er een dressing van met een staafmixer of in de blender.

Hak de amandelen grof. Haal de steeltjes van de waterkers.

Haal de groenten uit de oven en schep ze voorzichtig op een schaal. Verdeel wat waterkers over de groenten en lepel de dressing er overheen. Knip de tuinkers los en strooi deze samen met de amandelen over de warme salade en serveer.

Cold Roasted Beetroot and Fennel Soup

A refreshing summer soup made with ingredients usually associated with the colder months.

Serves 2

500 g pre-cooked beetroot
1 fennel
3 celery stalks
1 onion
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 bay leaf
1 small cucumber
1 small red onion
1 bunch radishes
1 orange
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
dark country bread to serve

Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Cut the beetroot into chunks. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for 15 minutes. Cut the fennel in half, remove the hard core. Keep the green twigs separate. Cut the fennel and celery into small pieces. Peel and chop the onion.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the fennel, celery, onion and bay leaf and sweat for 5 minutes over medium heat. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in 1 liter of hot water.
Pour the warm stock into the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the beets to the pan, remove the bay leaf. Blend the soup with a stick blender until smooth. Add a little extra water if the soup us too thick.
Cut the cucumber, red onion and radishes into small cubes. Chop the green fennel fronds and stir through the cubed vegetables. Grate the zest from orange and mix it through the finely chopped vegetables.
Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Divide the soup between 2 bowls and sprinkle the cucumber mixture. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with dark farmhouse bread.

Mussel and Fennel Soup

A beautiful combination, this is somewhere between a soup and a 'stew' of mussels.
They say mussels should only be eaten in months with an 'r' in the name, but that's untrue. Mussels are available year round.

Serves 2

2 kg pack mussels
2 fennel bulbs
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 large onion
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 sourdough roll
olive oil
splash of white wine
salt and pepper


Thinly slice the fennel. Finely chop the garlic, parsley stalks and onion. Open the pack of mussels and place in a bowl of cold water. After a few minutes, check to see if there are any open mussels. If so, discard them.

Slice the sourdough roll and fry in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil until a light golden brown.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot and add all the chopped vegetables and sweat for 5-7 minutes. Add a splash of white wine and the tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the mussels to the pot and place on the lid. Cook for 5 minutes until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan after about 2 minutes.

Add salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the soup. Divide between 2 bowls. Scatter with finely chopped parsley and serve with the fried bread.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours

Klik hier voor het recept in Nederlands.

Cumin Fried Fish with Chickpeas and Fennel

Serves 2

1 leek
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 tin chickpeas
2 fennel bulbs
5 g ground cumin
1 red chilli
2 x 180 g cod fillets
small bunch coriander
5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Slice the leek lengthways in half. Rinse under cold running water and cut into thin strips. Finely chop the garlic cloves and chilli, cut the fennel into strips and grate the zest from half the lemon. Drain the liquid from the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 3 tablespoons olive oil and fry the leek for about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, chilli to taste and garlic and fry for another 1 minute.

Add the chickpeas and fennel and fry for about 5 minutes. Heat another frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season the fish with salt, pepper and cumin powder.

Fry the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side. Finely chop the coriander and stir through the chickpea mixture, seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide the chickpeas and fennel between 2 plates. Lay the fish on top and serve with the remaining lemon cut into wedges.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours

Klik hier voor het recept in Nederlands.

Prawns with Sumac and Grilled Fennel - Persiana

Persiana has taken the culinary world by storm. Sabrina Ghayour grew up in an Iranian family and was brought up on Persian food. Through hosting supper clubs, at which she served her style of Middle Eastern cuisine, her first cookbook was born.

We absolutely adore this type of food. It's about bringing people together over large plates, helping themselves and interacting with others. The recipes make use of easily available ingredients but combining them in amway to achieve authentic flavours.

We cooked her recipe for Prawns with Sumac, Coriander, Lemon and Garlic. An absolute winner of a dish. We made a couple of adjustments - you'll find our feedback under the original recipe.

Prawns with Sumac, Coriander, Lemon and Garlic

Serves 4

6 tablespoons olive oil
grated rind of 2 lemons and juice of 1/2
2 tablespoons sumac
5 large garlic cloves, bashed, peeled and thinly sliced
1 x 20 g packet coriander, stalks and leaves finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
800 g large raw peeled tiger prawns

Select a wide, shallow vessel in which to make your marinade. Put in the olive oil, then add the lemon rind, sumac, garlic and coriander. Season well with a generous amount of sea salt and black pepper, add lemon juice and mix the ingredients together well.

Place the prawns in the marinade and mix well to ensure they are evenly coated, then cover the dish with clingfilm and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator if you can. Of course you can cook the prawns immediately, but a little marinating time will allow the flavours to permeate the prawns. As the marinade contains acid (lemon juice), I would not recommend marinating the prawns for longer than a few hours, as it may partially cook them (although they will be perfectly safe to eat).

Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, shake off the excess marinade from each prawn and place it straight into the frying pan. Cook the prawns for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink and serve immediately.

Chefs notes: we adjusted the recipe a little to suit our tastes. We used 3 instead of 5 cloves of garlic, chopping them finely. We brought the amount of sumac back to a heaped teaspoon instead of 2 tablespoons and we served our prawns with grilled fennel, so that we had a vegetables accompaniment. 

Publisher: Good Cook Publishing

Author: Sabrina Ghayour

Price: 24,95 euro

Roasted Chicken with Heritage Carrots and Fennel

Serves 4

1,8 kg whole free range or organic chicken
1 lemon
1 small bunch thyme
5 cloves garlic
olive oil
50 g butter
salt and pepper
2 bunches heritage carrots (12-16 carrots)
2 fennel bulbs

Preheat the oven to 180 C - 200 C. Cut the lemon into quarters.  Fill the cavity with the lemon segments, thyme and garlic cloves. Rub the butter all over the chicken and drizzle with some olive oil.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper making sure you don't forget to season in the cavity as well. Place in a roasting dish, breast side down and roast for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the carrots and slice diagonally. Trim the hard outer layer away from the fennel and roughly slice. After the 45 minutes, take the chicken from the oven, turn over and baste with the juices in the pan. Add the carrots and fennel around the chicken, mixing them well with the juices. Add a little salt and pepper. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving with the roasted carrots and fennel.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours