Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fennel and Carrot Au Gratin

This is one of those creartions which you make when you find that there is nothing you can use to prepare food. No, not because I didn't have anything to cook, but because Rishab had some tests the following day and he was not suppose to eat any vegetables which would cause flatulence and very little milk products and no fruits rich in vitamin C. Although I had bought some vegetables like carrots, fennel, zucchini and mushrooms for the two days before the test, I hadn't given much thought to what I would make.
So, here I was standing in my kitchen and trying to figure out what to make. I knew that I would be making a simple chicken dish, with some herbs and black pepper (but no wine - reason : most of the alcohol added to the food remains in the food, even if you cook it for long, so it is not good for Rishab). And I didn't feel like using mushrooms at all with that. "...but, fennel and carrots,... but what do I do with them?...". And this is what I came up with.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Baking time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Baking temp.: 180°C
Main utensils: A baking pan with lid or a porcelain baking dish and aluminium foil (a Roemertopf is also good)


1 large and thick fennel bulb, washed, trimmed and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled,trimmed and sliced into thin rounds
1 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic chopped coarsely
1 level tbsp vegetable broth (organic)
250 ml water
1 -2 tbsp olive oil
salt to tatse (if required)

  • whisk the broth together with water
  • mix everything together in a baking pan or porcelain dish
  • sprincle some parmesan on top, if desired
  • cover with lid or foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 1 hour - I baked it for 1 1/2 hours
This was so delicious, way beyond my expectations. Since I cooked it for long, it had become so stewey. We ate it with chicken and steamed basmati rice. It made a great combination. Hubby (do you remember - the "not so easy to please with food"-hubby!) loved the meal and Rishab too. What more can you ask for. And I felt it was a sensation for the low expectations i had put on this dish. The next day to eat the "left overs", the only thing I got to take a picture of - I hadn't planned to take one- with rice was heaven for me. I was just going "ummm... " all the time! I enjoyed it to the full. It was so very delicious. I almost felt that the next day it tatsed even better. That simple dishes don't have to be boring is so rightly proven by this one. If only I had known about it before, then I would have taken a nice picture for you to drool over before we started eating it. But, there will be a next time for sure.
I just realised that I could send this one to the Original Recipe event at Lore's Culinarty!


anudivya said...

PG, I just love fennel! Smart use of it in the dish. Love it.

Lore said...

What a delicious surprise PG! And if it also has the seal of approval from your picky husband I'm sure it tasted beyond words :). Thanks for sending it my way!