Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fennel & Cauliflower Gratin, Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Greens and Nuts

I love tomatoes but I can't handle eating them raw and in big chunks. The solution? Thinly sliced, tossed in olive oil and seasonings and oven dried until the flavor is intensified and the tomatoes are slightly chewy.

Creamy, caramelized fennel, onion and cauliflower baked with crunchy breadcrumbs and fresh rosemary.

Served with greens, crisp oven dried tomatoes tossed in herbs, hazelnuts and a creamy roasted garlic dressing.

Fennel Cauliflower Gratin
1 head cauliflower, sliced florets
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp salt
1 tbl pepper
1 tbl freshly chopped rosemary
1 1/2 tbl fennel fronds. minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella, divided
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350.
Bring a large pot of salted water and the cauliflower florets to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the fennel, onions, salt and pepper over medium high heat for 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the rosemary, 1 tbl fennel fronds and lemon juice, raise the heat and caramelize for 10 more minutes, stirring often. Deglaze the pan with white wine and 1 cup of vegetable broth, scraping the bottom bits up. Saute 5 more minutes over high heat to evaporate some of the broth then remove from the heat.
Add the cauliflower to the fennel, add the remaining 1 cup of broth, sour cream and one cup of cheese. Stir to combine and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
Top with the remaining cheese and then a layer of breadcrumbs. Drizzle with more olive oil to coat. Bake for 30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Garnish with remaining fennel fronds.

Greens and Nuts with Oven Dried Tomatoes and Garlic Dressing

Oven Dried Tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
dried oregano
dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 225. Grease a baking sheet. Lay the tomato slices in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Bake for 1 hour. When done, immediately transfer the tomato slices to a counter top to allow them to crisp up while cooling off.

Garlic Dressing
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice

Bring the garlic, oil and rosemary up to heat in a small saute pan. Saute over medium heat until the garlic starts to brown lightly. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a blender and blend with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

baby greens
1/4c hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

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