I know that it is going to start sounding like I watch Food Network all the time. I don't. Seriously. Just once in a while when I have downtime, I get sucked in. I had a bulb of fennel in my fridge from my CSA veggie box last week that needed used desperately. I love my CSA, but sometimes I just do not know what to do with the vegetables within the week before a whole new slew of them come in. I know...I should tap into my creative side but sometimes I just don't want to eat tatsoi, collard greens, or daikon...sue me! :)
Anyway, I had a bulb of fennel in my fridge from last week. Enter, Giada De Laurentiis and her Vegetable Parmesan. I L.O.V.E. a good parmesan. I mean really, really, really love it and this stuff is amazing. I never once thought about putting fennel into a parm, but I may never make one without it again!
I only made a couple of changes to the original recipe. For instance, she grilled, I roasted. She used a lot of cheese, I used a reduced-fat motz, maybe 2 cups worth, and about 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan altogether. Here is my version...
as adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
What you'll need:
1 medium eggplant
1 bulb fennel
2 red peppers
1 regular sized jar of sauce (I used Ragu Sweet Basil b/c I felt lazy!)
About 2 cups of reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and smear a little olive oil on the bottom. Slice your veggies into about 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Place them in a single layer and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip them over, and roast another 10 minutes.
Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the sides are all bubbly. Please make this...you'll thank me!