When I picked up the CSA this week I noticed a lot of extra fennel in the "share box". The share box is where people exchange an item they don't like, can't eat or won't use for another they prefer. Someone commented to me that it looked like everyone had traded in their fennel. I replied, "Not me! I want more". So I reluctantly parted with a head of cabbage for extra fennel. When roasted fennel has a wonderful sweet caramelized flavor, that is nowhere near what you would expect from the strong scent of the raw veggie. Fennel is yet another of the veggies I have no recollection of eating as a child, but that is a tasty addition to our diet as adults. I can't think of too many root vegetables that I don't like roasted with olive oil and garlic, and fennel is on that list. You can certainly eat it right out of the oven, in all the caramely goodness, but here's another idea...store the roasted fennel in the fridge and add it to other dishes, like a frittata with tomato, roasted fennel and cheese for brunch. Here's how to do it--
Roasted Fennel and Garlic:
1 bulb fennel--fronds cut off and root end sliced off the bulb, slice the bulb into 1/2 inch sections and place in an oven proof pan--I use a glass dish for caramelizing veggies. Top with 3-4 cloves minced garlic, then drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and white pepper, and sprinkle with grated parmesan, asiago, or other hard cheese. Roast in a 350-375° oven for about 45 minutes. If you can keep from eating it all as soon as it comes out of the oven, then store in the fridge for later use.
Place 2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil in glass pie plate, arrange roasted fennel and garlic in pie plate, then pour in 4-6 eggs, whisked. Season with salt and white pepper, and top with grated cheese of your choice. Bake in a 325° oven for 30-40 minutes, or until puffy and slightly browned on top. Serve with your favorite beverage (mine's a Pomosa--recipe below) and side of fruit, toast, bagel, whatever. Enjoy!
Pomosa: (I get credit for the name...I invented the drink!)
Pour 1 oz pomegranate juice in a champagne flute and top with your favorite champagne. Garnish with a twist of lime, enjoy!