Creamy Baked Fennel

This is the recipe for the side dish I made on New Years Eve for myself and Sugar. In all honesty, I’ve never had fennel before, let alone cooked with it (somehow I missed the fennel bus when I was younger). I was looking for something different and tasty … and when I saw this in my cook book – I thought I would give it a swing. This recipe is adapted from Sue Ashworth’s recipe in her book “Vegetarian Dinner Parties” which Sugar and I picked up at a used bookstore in Grass Valley, California, last summer.

This is the original recipe as it is out of her book. I did make some substitutions such as using non-dairy cream cheese and cashew milk as I tried to avoid any dairy in the process. I also used panko bread crumbs in place of traditional bread crumbs. Substitute or not at your pleasure.

Baked fennel tastes fabulous in this creamy sauce, flavored with caraway seeds. A crunchy bread crumb topping gives an interesting change of texture. 

Serves 4

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed
  • 1/2 c. low-fat soft cheese (I assumed this meant cream cheese)
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and add the lemon juice. Slice the fennel thinly, and add to the saucepan. Cook for 2-3 minutes to blanch, and then drain well. Arrange in a buttered oven-proof baking dish. (I used coconut oil spray)090 091 093 094 096
  2. Beat the soft cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add the cream, milk and beaten egg, and whisk together until combined. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over the fennel. 097 101 102
  3. Melt 1 T. of the butter in a small skillet, and fry the caraway seeds gently for 1-2 minutes, to release their flavor and aroma. Sprinkle over fennel. 104
  4. Melt the remaining bread crumbs, and fry gently until lightly browned. Sprinkle over the surface of the fennel. (to be honest and admit my lazy ways – I cooked the caraway seeds in with the breadcrumb topping.)118
  5. Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the fennel is tender.
  6. Serve, garnished with sprigs of parsley. 124

I served this fennel alongside a goat-cheese and mushroom tart (recipe coming soon!).

So – how was my first fennel experience? It was tasty! The fennel was nice and tender in the creamy sauce and had a slight anise flavor to it. All and all is was savory and delicious. If you are like me, and have never had fennel before – this is a simple recipe to make and it makes a nice side dish to replace the “same old thing” in your routine.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

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One response to “Creamy Baked Fennel

  1. Pingback: Goat-Cheese Mushroom Tart | Sharon Vincello

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