Thursday, September 9, 2010

Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel with White Beans

Seattle Skyline - Courtesy of Fabulous and Frugal
I have to apologize for my recent lack of posts. I went to a food blogger conference and haven't written a thing since. Terrible, I know. On the one hand, I got so many ideas of what to do better on my blog and things not to do and things that I'm doing wrong, that my confusion has led to total writer's block. The conference had lots of great tips on how to get more readers and how to come up higher on Google searches, but none of that is of any use if you don't actually write about anything. So I've decided to go back to doing things my own way and just sharing great recipes that I've tried or created and add my own part to Durham's amazing food scene. This may not get me many new "page visits" but so be it.
My other excuse for not writing much, and I consider it a pretty valid one, is that my wedding is just around the corner! My return home from Seattle brought with it September, which in my world is wedding month. I have been planning this wedding for about a year, doing things slowly, one by one so that I wouldn't get stressed out. And it's been a great year. I've spent a lot more time enjoying life and my soon-to-be husband than worrying about every little detail of the wedding. But now I'm at the point where I don't have much of choice and I have to worry about all of the details. Even if I don't necessarily care how the napkins are folded or if the menus are on white or cream paper, I have to decide. But most of the decisions have been fun ones and I absolutely cannot wait till the big day.

That being said, I do still eat dinner amidst all this planning and more often than not, I cook said dinner. Some nights have been simple meals and others have been repeats of past recipes that involve less thinking on my part. But I do have a few new things to share, starting with this roasted tomato and fennel dish, adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine. I actually made this awhile ago but, as I said, life has gotten in the way of my blogging. I've cooked with fennel before, and I absolutely love the sweetness it adds when cooked to a soft, golden brown. Mixed with roasted tomatoes and white beans, this dish is simple yet comforting in its rich flavors. I served it over quinoa and topped it with feta cheese as a light meal or it would work great as a side dish.

Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel with White Beans (serves 2, or 4 side dish serving)
  • 1 large (5-6 inch round) fennel bulb, with fronds attached
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1-2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini or Northern white beans, rinsed and drained
Preheat oven to 425F.
Remove about 1/2 cup of fennel fronds and chop.
Cut the remaining stems off the bulb and discard. Trim the bottom of the bulb, leaving some of the core attached.
Cut the fennel bulb in half vertically and then each half into 1/2 inch wedges.
Heat oil in a large, ovenproof pan over medium heat.
Add fennel wedges and season with about 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (use more if you like things spicy).
Season with remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and about 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Stir to combine.
Place pan in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add in beans and most of the chopped fennel fronds. Cook for a few minutes longer, until beans are heated through. Remove oregano stems before serving.
Serve garnished with remaining fennel fronds and feta cheese (optional).

For a printable recipe click here

Roasted Tomato With Fennel and White Beans

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize your wedding was coming so soon! Have a great time with your last days of planning, and don't get too stressed out. :)

    It was great to meet you at IFBC.