Hmmm….not too sure about fennel, but let’s try!
Okay, so I’ve never ever eaten fennel except for using fennel seeds a long, long, long time back to make an Indian curry dish. I was thus hesitant and not too sure about fennel, but thought, what the hell, let’s give it a try!
I needed my repertoire of vegetables to widen, and since I’m only eating net carbs of 20g per day, this doesn’t leave me the widest range possible, since butternut, carrots and the like are a no-no, due to not only the high carb levels, but the high sugar content. Don’t get me wrong, when I make stock or sauces, I use carrots, but the carb effect is minuscule in the total scheme of the dish vs. eating it as a stand alone vegetable. And thus my introduction to fennel. And the outcome……if cooked properly, like aubergine, I LOVE it! It also has that beautiful aroma of ‘aniseed/licorice’. And it’s a fairly cheap vegetable here in our country when in season.
- 2 baby savoy cabbages (sliced finely) or you can use normal cabbage, but would require probably only 1/2 a cabbage or less.
- 8 baby leeks (you can use again the normal leeks but would require less quantity). Cut into rings about 1/2 cm in width.
- 2 medium size onions (sliced finely into rings)
- 400g fennel (specifically the bulb area and the beginning of the stalk – I cut into “rings” or sometime lengthways if these are baby fennel bulbs). If you are like me & don’t know how to use fennel, check out, How_to_prep_fennel,
- 200ml creme fraiche or sour cream
- 300ml fresh cream
- 200g cream cheese
- 300ml grated cheddar (or any hard, like Parmesan) cheese [adding cheese optional]
- 3 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
- salt & pepper (to your taste, I use 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
How to make?
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
- Mix the creme fraiche, fresh cream, cream cheese, garlic and salt & pepper in a bowl.
- Cut the cabbage, onions, fennel and mix all together OR you can layer them separately in the oven-dish, if that’s what you prefer.
- Once places into the ovenproof dish, pour over the cream mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft/cooked through, specifically the fennel and the leek.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese over the top (you don’t have to) and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and crispy!
- You can also freeze this dish before baking, and simply defrost it when you need it and follow the above instructions when you are ready to bake it. I usually make this in bulk and freeze. A great side dish to have, whenever I need it!