This may not be the prettiest dish we've ever photographed but it is one of the most flavorful we've ever made. I cut this recipe out of some magazine and put it in my recipe box for some future day, and yesterday was that day. The combination of ingredients intrigued me and we were not disappointed, The fennel, once cooked, is sweet and is complemented by the roasted garlic and tomatoes, and the starchy white beans pull it all together. I didn't have the fresh oregano the recipe called for so I used fresh thyme, and found it a delightful and subtle addition; the crushed red pepper provides just a hint of heat which is wonderful. As good as this dish was with dinner last night, the leftovers are amazing today. For any vegetarian friends out there, this could be a wonderfully flavorful main course, in my estimation.
Roasted Tomato and Fennel with White Beans
Makes 6 Servings
2 large fennel bulbs with fronds attached
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
4 large fresh sprigs of oregano (or thyme)
3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Chop enough fennel fronds to measure ½ cup; set aside.
- Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut each half-bulb into ½-inch wide wedges, leaving some core attached to each wedge. (This holds it together.)
- Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes.
- Add fennel wedges in a single layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10-12 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, oregano or thyme, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Fold together gently.
- Transfer skillet to preheated oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
- Mix in beans and 6 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds (leaving 2 tablespoons for garnish). Bake another 5 minutes to heat through.
- Transfer mixture to a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining chopped fronds. Serve warm or at rom temperature.
To quote Julia Child, "Bon appetit".