Roasted Fennel Gratin

finocchitoasting breadcrumbs

More fennel, yes, this bulby veggie was so abundant in December and one that I love to eat and have a hard time getting bored of cooking. This is another recipe that was inspired by our trip to Sicily in November. I am starting to think that you can add raisins and pine nuts to almost anything and it will taste good! Throw some toasted bread crumbs on top and it will be even better.

roasted fennel

Roasting vegetables is so easy, just toss them in some olive oil and salt and throw them in the oven until they are cooked, and when it is cold outside it is a good way to keep warm in a cold Roman apartment. Roasted fennel can take some time, but when it caramelizes it takes on a whole new flavor, sweet but with a hint of licorice.

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Roasted Fennel Gratin

  • 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs (preferably with leaves)
  • Around 6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Clean fennel by cutting off the bottom part, the stalks and removing the outer skins. Be sure to snip the leaves off and set them aside. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise, rinse well under cold water and cut the two sides into three or four crescents, depending on the size of the bulb. Toss fennel crescents with 6 cloves of garlic in 3 tbs of olive oil and a pinch of salt, make sure that the crescents are dry before tossing them.

In a large roasting pan (with or without parchment paper) distribute the fennel slivers and place them on the middle rack of the oven. You want them to roast for about 20 minutes.

After the fennel is cooked halfway through remove them from the oven and toss them in the pan with the raisins, pine nuts and half of the fennel leaves that you set aside. Roast for another 15 minutes.

In the meantime toast your breadcrumbs in a dry pan over low heat, be sure to toss the pan every now and again so that the crumbs don’t burn. Sprinkle the crumbs over the roasted fennel and bake for about 10 more minutes.

Serve immediately with the remaining fennel leaves.

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~ by italicious on January 12, 2009.

2 Responses to “Roasted Fennel Gratin”

  1. Oh, now I’ll know what to do the next time my parents give me fennel from their garden! I agree with you about pine nuts and raisins!

  2. I didn’t know you could roast fennel until I learned to marinate and grill it in a cooking class in Oaxaca. This takes it SO much farther. Amazing.

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