Day 296: Fennel & Parmesan Gratin

Even approaching 300 days (oh my, three HUNDRED days!) of cooking a vegetable in a new way every single day, A Veggie Venture has some holes.

A big one -- one I aim to fix NOW -- is fennel.

So in February, let's cook some fennel!

(Care to join in? Any time during the month, let me know about a fennel post -- either a past post or a current one, even one that just uses fennel seed, since hey! I'm not that picky -- and I'll add it to a running round-up. Send the link via e-mail
using akATkitchenHYPHENparadeDOTcom or by leaving a comment!)

Tonight's oh-so-simple fennel suffered: it went into the oven with a whole chicken, on the upper rack which turned out to be too far from the heat source at the bottom. When the picture was taken, the fennel was only half done and hmm, let's call it 'chewy'. After another 30 minutes in the oven, it was buttery delicious.

NUTRITION NOTES Fennel is high-fiber, low-calorie and low-carb. It's versatile too, great slivered into salads and even better roasted or braised. Because of its firm texture, it's often a meat substitute for vegetarians.

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Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 70 - 90 minutes
Serves 8

2 pounds fresh fennel (that's the amount pictured)
1 cup chicken broth (might need enough to cover)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400F. Trim the base off the fennel. Leaving the core intact, slice the bulb(s) vertically so that each piece is about a half inch wide. Tuck into a low greased casserole dish, overlapping as little as possible. Add the broth, sprinkle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the Parmesan and roast, uncovered, for another 30 - 45 minutes.

Per 1/4 pound of raw fresh fennel: 35 Cal (5% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 81% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 8 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NetCarb 4; 56 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 59 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 0 points

This Recipe, Per Serving: 52 Cal (30% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 58% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 8 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NETCARB 4; 56 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 130 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; WEIGHT WATCHERS 0 points (yes, the fiber's so high, the calories so low, that it calculates to 0 points)

Adapted from Fine Cooking

(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.