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Stuffed fennel bulbs recipe

Stuffed fennel bulbs recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Starters

Four small fennel bulbs are filled with a delightful blend of pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and basil, idea as a starter or appetiser.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 4 small fennel bulbs
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 25g pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped fresh basil, to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Wash the fennel, trim the ends and cut in half lengthways. Remove the stalk then chop the leaves and set aside.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add lemon juice and boil fennel halves for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, rinse fennel with cold water and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 5.
  4. Meanwhile mix pine nuts with breadcrumbs and toast in a dry frying pan over low heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. In the same frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil and cook and stir chopped fennel leaves and garlic for a few minutes. Add pine nuts, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Stir in remaining butter and season to taste.
  6. Place fennel with the cut side up into a casserole dish, sprinkle with salt and basil. Fill fennel with the nut mixture and pour reserved fennel liquid 1/2 cm high into the casserole dish, discard the rest.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven until the fennel is tender and the filling is golden. Remove from the oven and serve.

Tip

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Once-odd vegetables are now familiar on area menus

Last week, my friend Debra announced, “I have a present for you.” She told me she was browsing at the Brush Factory, found a slender booklet titled “Odd Vegetable Cookbook” and decided she had to get it for me. As I looked into the author, Sybil Henderson, I learned she self-published a number of these works in the 1960s and 1970s.

In addition to odd vegetables, other topics included fresh mushrooms, exotic fruits, fresh dates, basic fruits, and basic vegetables. She wrote “Sybil’s Guide to Mexican Cookery” and the unusually titled “Lake…Stream…Seafood Cookbook the Western Way.” The most curious subject I found was the “Astrological Party Cookbook” with an odd assembly of dishes on the front cover.

In her opening lines regarding odd vegetables, the author acknowledges that the degree of “oddness” is basically a matter of familiarity, offering the ubiquity of jicama in New Mexican cuisine and its relative absence in New England. She then lists examples of different names used for the same vegetable, such as chayote squash, which is also called vegetable pear, mango squash and mirliton.

As I leafed through the pages, organized in alphabetic order of vegetable names, there seemed to be a major focus on ingredients with “Chinese” as the modifier. For example, there are China peas, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Chinese chard, Chinese long beans, Chinese mustard, Chinese okra, Chinese parsley and Chinese turnip. And in the middle of all these is a recipe for tempura.

While some of the author’s approach to classification feels outdated by today’s standards, there’s a fascinating glimpse into the culinary history of less-familiar vegetables. Almost everything in the cookbook is readily available in today’s grocery stores or specialty markets this was definitely not the case at the time this cookbook was written.

In addition, while many of these “odd” vegetables now appear on restaurant menus and our dinner tables, they were considered “ethnic” ingredients, primarily associated with Chinese and Mexican cuisine, when the cookbook was published. You can also see the influence of the author’s environment: she is living and writing in California, with proximity to these cultural influences and ingredients.

As far as the recipes go, there are not a great deal of imaginative techniques or presentation. Most of the time, her guidance under “Basic Preparation” starts with chopping, followed by boiling. The key exception is her “recipe” for a vegetable flower bouquet made with daikon, black radishes, leeks and onions which are cut into various shapes and stuck on the end of bamboo skewers.

Among the recipes, her simple guacamole is similar to the way I make it. She describes it as “more exciting” because of the addition of cilantro I would agree. She includes a quick-pickled water chestnut dish seasoned with fresh dill that is similar to a cucumber salad I’ve made. One of the most unusual recipes was for stuffed chayotes, which I’ve only seen served in savory preparations, unlike her sweet custard stuffing.

I was all set to try her recipe for fennel, which she asserts is the same thing as “sweet anise” (it is not). She combines a chopped fennel bulb with garlic, mushrooms and tomato, then boils the mixture for 20 minutes. I opted to take a different approach and assembled the braised fennel with blood orange as seen in the photo. I have to get to the Brush Factory and look for the “Astrological Party” cookbook – thank you, Debra, for this fun find!

Braised Fennel & Blood Orange

2 fennel bulbs

salt & white pepper

1 T olive oil

zest and juice of 1 blood orange

3/4 C vegetable broth

Cut stems from fennel bulbs, reserving some fronds for garnish. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Make two angled cuts in the center at the base of the bulb to remove the core slice each half into wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add fennel wedges and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to low add orange zest, juice and broth. Cook, covered, until fennel is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a few reserved fennel fronds sprinkled on top. Yield 4 servings.

Cilantro Guacamole*

2 sliced green onions

1 diced tomato

1 t minced green chili

2 T lemon juice

1 T minced cilantro

2 ripe avocados

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a serving bowl. Allow to marinate for about an hour. Peel, pit and mash the avocados. Add to bowl and stir to combine. Serve immediately. *Adapted from “Odd Vegetable Cookbook” by Sybil Henderson.

Dilly Chestnuts*

1 1/2 C sliced water chestnuts

1 t chopped dill

1/2 C white vinegar

Place water chestnuts in a glass dish set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over water chestnuts cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve as a relish. *Adapted from “Odd Vegetable Cookbook” by Sybil Henderson.

Stuffed Chayotes*

3 beaten egg yolks

4 T brown sugar

1/4 t cinnamon

3 drops vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 F. Wash chayotes, cook in boiling water until tender and drain. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, leaving shell intact. Drain pulp in a colander and chop. Combine pulp with remaining ingredients, stirring to combine thoroughly. Arrange shells in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and fill with pulp mixture. Bake until set and golden, about 40 minutes. *Adapted from “Odd Vegetable Cookbook” by Sybil Henderson.


Parmesan-and-Sausage Stuffed Roasted Fennel

In a saucepan, steam the fennel, root end up, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Halve the bulbs lengthwise and remove the thickest part of the core.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook over moderately high heat until no pink remains, 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the sausage is browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs. Let cool. Stir in the cheese and parsley season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Oil a large glass baking dish pour in the stock. Working over the skillet, press two-thirds of the filling into the fennel layers. Arrange the fennel in the baking dish, cut side up, and top with the remaining filling. Tilt the fennel up slightly and drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over and between the layers. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the fennel is very tender. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the liquid in the dish has evaporated and the fennel begins to brown on the bottom.

Position an oven rack 10 inches from the heat and preheat the broiler. Broil the fennel until the topping is browned, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Make Ahead: The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 early in the day. Rewarm and broil before serving.


Method

Slice each pepper in half lengthways, cutting right through the green stalk end and leaving it intact though it won't be eaten, it adds much to the look of the thing.

Remove all the seeds. Place the pepper halves on the baking sheet, then drain the tomatoes (you don't need the juice), and divide them into eight equal portions, placing each portion inside a pepper half. You can watch how to prepare peppers by clicking on the Cookery School Video on this page.

Now pare off any brownish bits of fennel with your sharpest knife and cut the bulbs first into quarters and then again into eighths, carefully keeping the layers attached to the root ends. Now put them in a saucepan with a little salt, pour boiling water on them and blanch them for 5 minutes. Then drain them in a colander and, as soon as they're cool enough to handle, arrange two slices in each pepper half. Sprinkle 1 dessertspoon of olive oil over each one, using a brush to brush the oil round the edges and sides of the peppers.

Next, lightly crush the pepper berries, coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar or rolling pin and bowl, sprinkle these evenly all over the fennel and peppers, and finish off with a grinding of sea salt. Then bake the peppers for about 1 hour on a high shelf in the oven until they are soft and the skin wrinkled and nicely tinged with brown. After removing them from the oven, sprinkle the lemon juice all over, cool and serve garnished with a little finely chopped spring onion or as they are.


Related Video

Very easy, tasty, have made this many times for a quick if slightly 80s stuffing

I have been making this recipe for my vegetarian thanksgiving for 4 years now (using veg. broth). Everyone loves it! always! Sometimes I add an onion if I can't find the full amount of fennel called for. This year I suggested trying a new stuffing, but everyone thought that was a bad idea. I guess that says something.

I fixed this for a "Thanksgiving-in-October" dinner for my in-laws. They loved it so much that I was asked to bring it to the family meal in November! I didn't use the full amount of fennel the recipe called for as I've never cooked with it. 2 large bulbs were plenty!

I have made this recipe for the past two years. I use veggie broth to make a vegetarian version. delicious! Can't wait to make it again.

This is hands down the BEST stuffing ever and the fennel stalks with the subtle flavor of sun dried tomato is excellent. I had it at a dinner party and then served it at christmas dinner with roated turkey and it goes really well with the sherry mashed potatoes. Definitely worth making and not difficult. I used bread from a baguette which I think worked really well.

No one in my family liked this recipe. Some thought they fennel taste was too strong, others complained about how potent the sun dried tomatoes were. There are too many other stuffing recipes out there to ever cook this again. Unless you know that your favorite critics love these flavors I would skip it.

This recipe is wonderful. A crowd pleaser! Although, I must mention that I had never cooked with fennel before and I was a little intimidated when I saw the size of the stalks and bulbs! I thought for sure I should use less, but I followed the recipe & it turned out perfectly. Next time I will DEFINITELY make it the night before. It is a bit of work for Thanksgiving morning. Enjoy!

This is the second straight year I have made this stuffing and it has been a hit both years. We have always made several stuffings for our large Thanksgiving gatherings and this one wins hands down everytime. It is deceptively simple and easy, but comes out perfectly whether in or out of the bird. It is much better than the recipe actually sounds.

This was really very tasty, particularly if you let it sit overnight. However, to put a real heavy handed gravy on top of it can cover the sundried tomatoe and fenel taste. Made it with a freshly baked Country Bread from one of the new fancy bakeries in town and it was great. Had some trouble finding on the internet the difference between the stalks and fronds of fennel.

This is soooo good. I made two stuffings to please everyone, and everyone ate this one! I had the other for days. I can't wait to make it this year.

Made this for Thanksgiving for a group of "stuffing-haters", not a speck left, rave reviews and many requests for the recipe. Will definitely make again

Excellent dish! I made it on my first thanksgiving with my husband and everyone loved it. The fennel gives it a particular flavor that everyone just raved over.

I first got this recipe from the magazine in 1997, made it for our family and now it is a Thanksgiving must! Very easy


Gorgonzola Stuffed Fennel

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my privacy policy for details.

Impress your guests with these super easy, yet super tasty Gorgonzola stuffed fennel bulbs!

While you might only have had fennel bulbs finely shaved and in salad form, today I’m sharing a super unique fennel recipe with you that is from my family.

One of my younger sisters (I have two younger sisters, one older sister) is a vegetarian and has been forever, so whenever there are family get togethers, it usually involves a delicious vegetarian dish.

Nestled among the spread of food for our Easter celebration (pictured above), I saw these beautiful fennel bulbs. I immediately asked what they were, and was informed by my mother that my little sister and her had been to 5 different grocery stores in search of fennel bulbs to make this dish.

My mother always makes the most beautiful celebrations, any holiday, she makes it beautiful, Easter was no exception! She even made naturally dyed Easter eggs using my tutorial!

Around the table we were talking about Five Ingredient Fridays, and as I was RAVING about the stuffed fennel and was informed that there were only 4 ingredients! What what? PERFECT for sharing with you guys!

When I was going through the recipe with my mom, she shared the following tips:

  • Fennel bulbs have stalks with feathery/dill looking tops which one can use in salads or on top of salmon
  • The smaller fennel bulbs are the ones you want, the bigger bulbs are more bitter
  • If you don’t have walnuts you could use pecans, but don’t use almonds, they just don’t work in this recipe
  • You can make all the components of this dish ahead of time so that the day of the celebration all you have to do is put it together and put it in the oven

The foods that we had for our Easter meal were: basmati rice, asparagus, salmon (with the fennel greens on top), mustard sauce, a beautiful salad, and for dessert I made my spiced pecan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. What did you have for Easter? Have you ever had fennel?

Fennel has a subtle earthy licorice taste, and the creamy Gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts come together perfectly! Even though I normally don’t like strong cheese, these stuffed fennel bulbs (and of course blue cheese bechamel mac n cheese) are the exception to that rule, the strong cheese goes so well with the smooth fennel.


Peppers stuffed with lamb and rice

This also works with smaller, light green peppers, when in season, which have much thinner skins than the year-round bells. If you use the smaller peppers, make 12, and reduce the amount of stock to 300ml. Also, bake them in a casserole rather than in a roasting tray. Simmer on the stove for 15 minutes, then transfer, uncovered, to the oven for 40 minutes. Serves six.

6 green or yellow bell peppers
150g short-grain rice
150g lamb mince
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, coarsely grated discard the skin
50g pine nuts, toasted
40g currants
1¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
60ml olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
400ml chicken stock
300g Greek yoghurt
10g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Use a small knife to cut a 3cm-wide circle around the stem of each pepper, pull off the stems and lid in one piece and set aside, then remove and discard the seeds and pith inside.

In a medium bowl, mix the next nine ingredients with three tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon and a half of salt and plenty of black pepper. Stuff this inside the peppers and pop on the lids. Arrange the peppers in a high-sided 17cm x 24cm oven tray, then pour over the stock and cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more, until the peppers are cooked through and browned on top spoon some of the liquid over the top of the peppers a few times while they are cooking.

In a small bowl mix the yoghurt, mint, garlic, the remaining oil and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt until smooth, then set aside.

Once the peppers are done, leave them to rest for five minutes, then serve with a spoonful of yoghurt.


How to Use Fennel Stalks

Fennel stalks and fronds go well with fish in a fresh salad. You can try it with fried trout fillet.

  • Use fennel stalks when you make broth or stock, especially if you plan to use it in a fennel based dish. . Anyone who spent some time in the kitchen or rifled through a cookbook knows that fennel and fish are best friends. Use the stalks (and fronds!) whether you're grilling, poaching, or steaming the fish. How to do it? Lay a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish, as a bed, then cook it as you prefer – in the pan or in the oven. The fennel will infuse the fish with its sweet flavor.
  • When you make gratin or casseroles, especially if you use the fennel bulb in the recipe. All you have to do is finely chop the stalks as well and add them to the dish, among other ingredients. We suggest you add a lot of cheese!
  • Instead of celery stalks in any recipe. Fennel stalks look similar to celery stalks, although they have a different anise-like flavor. You can use fennel stalks in any stew or sauce recipe that calls for celery stalks.
  • Freeze the fennel stalks in plastic bags for later use.

  • 4fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 284-300ml carton double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 60g (2oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated

Set the oven to 200°C or gas mark 6.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the fennel. Simmer for about 5 mins, then drain it well.

Arrange the fennel quarters in an ovenproof dish. Mix the crushed garlic into the carton of double cream and season well with salt and pepper, then pour over the fennel. Scatter the cheese over the top.

Bake the gratin in the centre of the oven for 20-35 mins, or until the top is golden and the cream is bubbling. Serve immediately, on its own or as a side dish. (Not suitable for freezing).


Recipe Summary

  • Salt
  • 5 fennel bulbs (5 pounds), quartered
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fennel and cook until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in 1 cup of the cheese. Gradually add the eggs and whisk until incorporated. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the parsley and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Season the bread crumb mixture lightly with salt and white pepper.

Arrange the fennel in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the cream sauce over the fennel, sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the fennel is tender, the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are browned on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.



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