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Food and Drink, Recipes

Confit Fennel Salad

“One of Jason’s favourite summertime ingredients is fresh fennel”
Confit Fennel Salad z5ooav

Oxfordshire and its surrounds are famous for outstanding food and hospitality: from farms, growers and markets to cafes, pubs and restaurants. We are delighted to have the chance to feature some of the very best.

After a stint as sous chef at The Kingham Plough (also run by Matt and Katie Beamish along with The Milton Hare) Jason Christie has been Head Chef of the characterful quintessential village, The Crown at Church Enstone at since March 2023. His innovative monthly-changing menus showcase the very best fresh, seasonal and local produce. As much of the raw ingredient is used as possible, in a conscientious effort be more sustainable, minimise waste and extract maximum flavour – including butchering a whole animal and using its meat in a variety of dishes. Jason’s also passionate about pickling and also fermenting leftover veg and fruit scraps to make his own kimchi.

Prior to also working at Daylesford and Cowley Manor, Jason travelled widely in South Africa, Korea and Italy, where he attended The University of Gastronomic Sciences near Slow Food Movement capital, Alba, in Piedmont. Jason’s focus remains rooted in these experiences, and he remains passionate about traditional regional dishes and also pushing the boundaries to create though-provoking, beautifully presented plates of food, along with top notch pub classics

One of Jason’s favourite summertime ingredients is fresh fennel: “It’s so versatile and its lovely crisp texture and aniseedy flavour means it works so well with so many other summer flavours, from fresh or smoked fish, citrus fruits and BBQ meats to most leafy herbs. I like to use fennel finely sliced in salads or baked to make this delicious confit dish which is currently on the menu and makes a great summer BBQ salad for sharing.” 

Confit Fennel Salad


  • 2 heads of fennel, plus olive oil  to cover    
  • 100g feta         
  • 50g butter       
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes  
  • 1 pink grapefruit   
  • Salsa Verde
  • 100g parsley            
  • 2 tsp capers              
  • 2 anchovy fillets   
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 70g olive oil                 
  • A handful of rocket leaves  


  • To begin, cut your fennel into three large slices making sure the root of the fennel holds it all together. Place into a pan, then season and leave for 30 minutes to cure. Cover with olive oil and place a lid or some foil on top before placing into the oven at 130oC for 60-90 minutes or until the fennel is very soft and almost jammy. Set aside.
  • While the fennel is in the oven, start to make the salsa verde. Either throw the parsley, capers, garlic, anchovies, rocket and olive oil into a blender then pulse to a coarse consistency – or chop all the ingredients and then mix with the olive oil.
  • Once the fennel is ready, heat a pan, add the butter and almost toast this so it's nice and brown, but not burning. Add the chilli flakes, segments of grapefruit and diced feta. This should foam up and smell amazing. 
  • You’re now ready to plate. Simply lay the fennel on a plate and pour the foaming aromatic butter over the fennel. Finish with some of the salsa verde.

The Crown Inn, Mill Lane, Church Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 4NN; To book, call 01608 677 262 or visit


Confit Fennel Salad z5ooav
Mon 1 Jul 2024

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