Monday, March 26, 2012

Fennel and Mushroom Pie

I can't believe how long I believed I didn't like fennel. I would definitely not order anything in a restaurant that had fennel in it and now I love its unique flavor. I have had it raw, shaved into a salad and tonight it had it cooked in this pie. Of course the pie had many other flavor components in addition to the fennel. It had carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, fresh parsley and basil and a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. I forgot to mention the mashed potatoes that were also a part of this pie.

This recipe did use a fair number of pots and pans, but it was delicious.

Fennel and Mushroom Pie
Adapted from

1 pound new potatoes, scubbed and sliced
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 fennel bulb, roughly cut
1 large carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Drain, then mash. While potatoes are still hot, mix in the milk and butter.

Cook the fennel and carrot in salted boiling water for about 7 minutes, until tender. Drain, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan, add onions, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they begin to brown. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the mushrooms, and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle half the bread crumbs over the base of a shallow, ovenproof 9-inch baking dish. Add half the mushrooms and onions, fennel, parsley, basil, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and potatoes in layers. Repeat the layer, finishing with potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. (If you use a pie plate, place the plate on a baking sheet before you slide it in the oven to catch any spills.)

Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

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