Fennel changes its character when roasted, losing its crunch of course, and its peppy bite, but if you close your eyes you could almost believe you are eating artichokes. Oh, it's good!
2 large fennel bulbs (about 900g/2 pounds) Extra virgin olive oil Flaky sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed ½ tsp chopped rosemary 425g (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and drained 2 wedges preserved lemon 1 loaf pide or ciabatta, sliced not too thinly 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half 1 hot chilli, thinly sliced Parsley florets
1 Trim fennel bulb and cut into fat chunks. Rub with 1½ tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and grind over a little pepper. Cook on a barbecue hot plate (griddle) preheated to medium until golden all over and just tender when tested with a fork. Alternatively, lay pieces in a shallow roasting tin lined with baking (parchment) paper and roast in an oven preheated to 220°C (425°F) for about 20 minutes.
2 To make the bean purée, put 1 tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan (skillet) with the garlic and rosemary. Cook briefly until changing colour, then add the beans and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Squish beans with a fork until they form a lumpy purée.
3 Rinse preserved lemon wedges under running water, dislodge flesh and discard. Pat rind dry with paper towels and slice.
4 Char 8 slices of bread on both sides on a preheated barbecue grill rack over gentle heat; take care as the bread burns easily. Alternatively, cook bread under an oven grill, or in a hot ridged grill pan. Rub with a piece of garlic, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Spread slices with bean purée and top with fennel. Sprinkle with preserved lemon, chilli and parsley. Serve immediately.