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Fresh Fennel and Tomato Bake
By Chefs Gary Ibsen with Joan Nielsen


3 bulbs Fennel trimmed weight about 1 1/4 pounds 
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
2 cloves Organic Garlic finely chopped 
2 cups Organic Tomatoes (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and chopped 
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste 
4 slices Country-Style Bread cut in 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups) 
1/4 cup Butter melted 
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese grated 


Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Trim the fennel bulbs by cutting off the tops, leaving about 1/2 inch above the bulbs and cutting away any brown spots. 

Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise and then in 1/4 inch - thick slices. 

Remove any hard central cores. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over a medium high heat. 

Add the fennel slices and garlic. Saute, turning occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Saute 2 to 3 minutes more. 

Spoon the fennel mixture, including its liquid, into a shallow baking dish, about 8x13x12 inches. 

Toss the bread, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese into a small bowl. 

Place the bread cubes evenly over the fennel mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Serve warm. 


Although it stands on its own as a wonderful vegetarian sidedish try serving this delicate but satifying dish as a base for any highly flavored roasted poultry like duck, game hen, or even a robust roasting chicken. 

Just place the finished roast right on top of the baked fennel dish (which will soak up all the roast's drippings) and serve.