Monday, July 16, 2012

Zucchini, Fennel and Leek Bake

This summer, a friend and I split a CSA (farm share) membership through Farmer Dave's.   I've really enjoyed getting a weekly box of farm fresh veggies...  Not only do they taste delicious but it's been convenient (the pickup location is around the corner so no need to trek to a Farmer's Market on a weekend morning), it's incredibly affordable (we each paid $200 and have 20 pickups --- only $10/week for a boat-load of fresh vegetables!) and it feels right to be supporting a local community farm.   All in all, it's been a fun and healthy way to embrace the summer season.

The contents of the box vary from week to week.  It adds a fun surprise element, as well as forcing us to try some things we may not have normally purchased.  This week's box included some gigantic zucchini, leeks and fennel.  In a search for the best way to use them, I came across this recipe.   I'm hoping to try it out tonight.  Sounds delicious!

Italian Gratin with Fennel, Leek and Zucchini
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel sliced thin
  • 1 red potato sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini sliced in thin rounds
  • 1/2 large leek sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • olive oil
  • dry seasonings (FOODalogue blend: coarse salt mixed with ground chili flakes, fennel seed, oregano, star anise)
  • panko breadcrumbs toasted with crushed almonds
  • 2/3 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 2 tbs parmesan cheese
  1. Saute vegetables with dry seasonings in a little olive oil.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil in casserole pan and sprinkle crumbs.
  3. Layer half of vegetables.
  4. Cover with ricotta which has been lightly sprinkled with dry seasonings.
  5. Add second layer of vegetables.
  6. Cover lightly with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 375 about 20-30 minutes.
  8. Finish under broiler.
Serves 2 healthy portions or 3-4 smaller ones.

 (image and recipe via foodalogue)