Sunday, February 6, 2011
I love fennel. Surprisingly, while I was pregnant I could not stand the vegetable, so now I am making up for lost time and enjoying it almost daily. I was lucky enough to have one of my fennel recipes published in Obama's White House Garden Cookbook.
I had a few bites of a fennel gratin while out at a restaurant and have been trying to duplicate the recipe ever since. When I read what normally goes into a gratin I knew I wanted to lighten the recipe up, but keep the rich flavor. This recipe succeeds, with just a little half and half and a sprinkling of parmesan the dish is full of flavor while still rich.
I have made this recipe 3 times now. Each time I have lowered the amount of liquid in the baking dish and have come to the conclusion a minimum of 1 cup of liquid is needed to properly cook the fennel. Half a cup of chicken broth is sometimes difficult to come up with. I like to use Better Than Bouillion in recipes like this, you can make up a little bit with no waste. (If you are in a pinch, I even used a bit of water and salt and the fennel tasted just fine.)
This is a delicious side to throw in the oven while roasting a chicken. I hope you try it out.
1 fennel bulb
handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cream or half and half
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher, so use less if using table salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. To cut the fennel, stand the fennel up on end and cut into quarters. Cut each quarter pole to pole into 1/2 inch slices. Lay fennel in a single layer (or mostly single) in a baking dish.
2. Spinkle with parsley.
3. In a small bowl or glass mix stock, half and half, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over fennel.
4. Top with cheese.
5. Bake 45 minutes, or until fennel is tender and top is lightly browned.