from one girlfriend to another

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Food is one of the great connectors. A meal is often better when it’s shared with others (unless you’re one of those non-sharing types). When I think of eating vegetarian, I’ve often thought of it as “foraging”. When I’ve tried stints before I’ve usually been struggling to fill myself up, let alone think about enjoying it with others.

My friend Emily sent me a recipe that is not only something that is rich & deliciously filling but something you’re dying to share with other people. It. Is. That. Good. Normally when you go to someone’s house for dinner, the entree is the star and it usually involves meat, but this dish can easily hold its own and last night I shared it with some of my other girlfriends.

So here’s to a dish you can proudly hold your vegetarian head high bringing to a dinner party.

Emily’s vegetarian goodness (via Epicurious):

**warning** do not half this recipe like I did. you will want it all.

  • 2 large fennel bulbs with fronds attached (Emily adds twice the fennel)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 large fresh oregano sprigs
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/2 cup. Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut each bulb half ito 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some ore attached to each wedge.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Fold together gently.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in beans and 6 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds. Bake 5 minutes longer to heat through. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining chopped fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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