One of the cookbooks that has been inspiring me this week is The Secret Ingredient by Sally Bee. I wrote about The Secret Ingredient last year, and I picked up again this weekend when trying to plan out some healthy and exciting meals. I love that this book never sacrifices flavor. It treats food as something that is supposed to be pleasurable but also something that is meant to be fueling and healing.
As a lover of fennel, I was excited to try a take on Sally Bee’s Crunchy Baked Fennel recipe. I bought two giant bulbs at Trader Joe’s over the weekend.
I cut the fennel into quarters and put the quarters into boiling water for about eight minutes.
While the fennel was boiling, I sliced a summer squash and a sweet onion. The original recipe did not include either, but I had them and thought they would go well with the other ingredients.
Once the fennel was soft, I layered the veggies in my new casserole dish. My sister and family got me a whole set of these dishes for my birthday, including cute little ramekins and new loaf dishes. I love them!
I topped the layers of veggies with slivers of garlic, panko bread crumbs, and olive oil.
Into a 400 degree oven they went, and 20 minutes later, I had these crunchy baked vegetables. The anise-flavor of the soft, gooey fennel, the sweetness of the onion, and the buttery bread crumbs all went perfectly together. This veggie side dish was incredibly enjoyable. And it was the perfect side for my fish in a packet. I wish dinner was this good and healthy every night!
What should I make next?