I made a fennel and pomegranate salad recipe with raw fennel. I was so happy with it. I think it is one of the best things I have made this year. I know it was one of the easiest. Now because I am a foodie and a blogger I wanted to give the roasted version a try. I found this Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin, and at first bite I started to hear the Halleluiah chorus going off in my head. This is just heavenly.
While it is fennel season, I know it is past tomato season, but you can usually count on cherry tomatoes to have some flavor at this time of year, especially if you roast them and I simply could not go a whole year without eating them. When I saw these pictures I tossed the garlic and bought fresh. Don’t use garlic that is past its prime. I also remove the endosperm (the little green in the center of the clove). I find it bitter.
I bought a live thyme plant to replace the one I had that croaked. I want to transplant it into a larger pot and pray that it will winter well in my window. I am so in love with fresh herbs. (May I suggest a cup filled with herbs for a foodie gift or if you want to take something to your hostess.) If you only have dry okay, but I highly recommend in the spring you plant some herbs even if you only have room for a few pots. It is just one small thing you can do to improve your skills. I am planning an herb garden in my head now for next Spring. I already have mint, oregano, and rosemary in a large pot. It was a gift from my neighbor when he thinned his garden. The thyme died off so I will be adding to it. In the Spring I also buy a basil plant for $2.99 from Trader Joe’s. I then propagate the plant – it usually takes 10 days in a jelly jar of water to sprout roots. It last me all season.
I have started adapting to the metric measurement. I weigh flour and sugar. Also it has been a big help when a recipe calls for one or two medium vegetable. What does that mean? Is that pretty subjective? If it says 1 kilo = 2.2 lbs., just weigh it. I get teased and have had to offer many mea culpas since I resisted metric when I started scratch cooking, but I have had to concede it is so much easier now, and with better results.
This is a Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi recipe. The recipe is for a full recipe, but I only made half. I have wanted to make the recipe for a long time. I have heard such good things about Mr. Ottolenghi and my new blog friend Barbara from Cuisine Provence made it. I was so happy with her Clafoutis Provençal I had to try this. I was very happy with my result. It is recipes like this that make you think you can cook.
Thanks to Messrs. Ottolenghi and Tamimi. Thank you Barbara and thanks to Ina Garten – she said learn to make a dish three different ways to expand your repertoire. One more to go.
- 2 lb. fennel bulbs, sliced ⅔ “ thick
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 200ml cream – 1 cup
- 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 300g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
- salt and pepper to taste
- a lemon
- parsley for garnish
- ⅓ of this crumble – (300g plain flour, 100 g caster sugar, 200g cold salted butter cubed) Store the remainder in a baggie, then a Mason jar in the freezer – Label it.
- Mise en place ~ Gather Ingredients
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Foil to cover ovenproof gratin dish
- Make crumble – Combine flour, sugar, and butter – all cold; add parmesan; set aside.
- Mix fennel in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, thyme leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
- Pour the cream over the fennel.
- Sprinkle crumble on top of the fennel.
- Cover the dish with foil; bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil; add the tomatoes on top, along with a few thyme sprigs.
- Return to the oven; bake for another 15 minutes or until the fennel is soft, the crumble is a golden brown and the tomatoes are cooked.
- Parsley to garnish.
- Give a squeeze of lemon – it will lift the flavor.
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