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Seasonal Recipe: Fennel Casserole

By February 4, 2013 No Comments

One of my favorite dishes growing up, was my mom’s fennel casserole. Yet, I thought about making it for my family only recently when I found some locally grown bulbs. My mom included ham (the traditional way of making it), but to accommodate our vegetarian weeknights, I omitted it. The verdict? The kids loved it and asked for seconds (after all, what doesn’t taste good in bechamel?) It has become a family favorite – for the taste buds and the wallet 😉

Rinse and quarter 2 fennel bulbs
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter and add the fennel
Cover with milk, season salt pepper and a pinch of nutmeg, and simmer for 15 min or until tender

In the meantime prepare a bechamel by melting two tablespoons of salted butter in a saucepan, over medium heat
When the butter foams, add two tablespoons of flour

Cook the flour while stirring until it starts to golden

 Add 2 cups of milk in small batches while stirring, until the mixture thickens

Pour the fennel in a greased baking dish, cover with the bechamel, top with grated cheese and season to taste.

Bake at 375 until golden

How Zero Waste are my ingredients?

Fennel: Purchased loose from the produce aisle
Butter: As mentioned here, butter is the only food that we purchase in disposable packaging. The box goes into the recycling; the wrappers get washed and added to my collection for a planned art piece. Three years later, I am about to get it started! I will post the resulting artwork when I am done!
Flour, salt and pepper: Purchased from the bulk aisle, using a cloth bag.
Ground nutmeg: Purchased from the bulk aisle, filling my spice jar directly.
Milk: Purchased from the dairy aisle, it comes in glass and I return the empties to the store.
Grated cheese: Purchased from the salad bar, filling a quart size jar.

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