There seems to be wild fennel all over the place in the garrigue and at the sides of roads at the moment and I picked a bunch of it to bring home. I’d bought 300 grams of sauté de veau (pieces of veal for casseroling) in the village shop and the fennel suggested a recipe to me. I softened a sliced onion in a little olive oil with a chopped slice of poitrine salée (salted bacon cut in thick slices would work as well) in a cast iron casserole dish. I added the veal cut into small pieces. When they had browned slightly I added two chopped cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of tomato purée and the chopped fennel (you could use the leafy tops of fennel bulbs if you can’t find this herb in the wild). I poured a large glass of white wine over it all, added some salt and pepper and simmered it for an hour.
We ate the casserole with potatoes mashed with olive oil, garlic and green olives – a favourite of ours. It was a wonderful mix of flavours.