Friday, August 19, 2011

Florence Fennels Cooked in Milk






I don't do it often, but to cook Florence fennels in milk is a very Italian method, not really used much overseas (or at least, I haven't noticed it!). The fennels seem to acquire a really special taste when cooked in milk, and after this first 'stage' they are usually baked in the oven or placed under the grill, with or without toppings. A big tray would have several fennels, but becasue I only had three fennels I decided to add some lasagna sheets to make sure that they would not 'dry up' too much in the second cooking stage in oven. 



Fennels Cooked in Milk

Wash three Florence fennels and cut like in the photo. 



 Gently (very gently) simmer the fennels in milk (about half a litre) until they are quite tender (about 30 minutes). Watch the pot at all times: the milk may boil out. Lift out the fennels, but keep the milk in the pot.



I didn't want to put the fennels straight into a pan, so I placed three lasagna sheets on the bottom (I used Barilla egg lasagna). Fennels on top, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.



I made a sauce with the milk from cooking the fennels, I just added one tbsp of flour and some butter, salt, pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Stir until you have a thin velvety sauce.


 I poured most of the sauce over the fennels and the topped with three more lasagna sheets, which I covered with the remaining white sauce.



  Bake everything at 180°C for about 30 minutes. Serves 3-4 and it is very very yummy.


Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©



24 comments:

  1. adoro i finocchi fatti così, poi mi piacciono in tutti i modi...se passi da ilpane.blogspot c'è un piccolo premio tutto colorato...baci

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  2. Grazie Tam, poi vado a vedere :-)

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  3. Questa te la prendo al volo. Grazie per il suggerimento.
    Un caro saluto,
    Giacinta

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  4. I've never heard of this milky way to prepare fennel. Sounds nice... if only I could tolerate milk! ;-)

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  5. Ale!!!Grazie innanzitutto epr il tuo commento da me, smack!
    Eppoi, questa idea di aggiungere le sfoglie è favolosa.Già adoro i finocchi gratinati, così ancora di più!
    Bacioni

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  6. Ecco, la besciamella con il latte di bollitura: sei in genio!!!
    Provo appena ritrovo i finocchi che qui non arrivano sempre.
    Ciao!

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  7. What a great way to prepare fennel. I've cooked pork in milk but not vegetables, other than potatoes, of course. I look forward to giving this a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  8. very interesting recipe, this is new to me, looks great..

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  9. @ Emma, pity about the milk intollerance, I wouldn't even know how this would taste with an alternative, maybe rice milk could be ok.

    Fennel are relatively new to this country, so people are still learning how to cook them. This is an easy and sure way to do it.

    @ Saretta e Araba etc., grazie per i complimenti, graditissimi. la ricetta ha sorpreso un po' di gente qui, questi trucchi preferiscono impararli prima da Jamie Oliver che da un'italiana vera. Strano mondo! :-)

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  10. In inverno consumo i finocchi a chili ma non ho mai pensato di cuocerli nel latte. Il tuo suggerimento mi ispira parecchio. Lo terrò a mente per la prossima stagione :) Un bacio, buona domenica

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  11. I love the sound of this! How imaginative to cook fennel in this way!

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  12. Look abasolutely nice Alessandra! gloria

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  13. oh wow! i've ever seen anything like this, but it looks wonderful!

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  14. I've never thought to cook fennel like this, but it sounds delicious. I can imagine the sauce would take on a lovely fennel flavour... must try it!

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  15. Wow! That looks like (and reads like) it taste very good. But you know me, Alessandra, it's that first photo of yours that captured my attention. I really like how you kept the center fennel in focus while blurring the others - very nice affect. Keep on doing your thing!!

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  16. I discovered fennel bulb this year when I cooked Bouillabaise. Since then I'm really in love with fennel bulb's texture and flavor. I know I'd love this!! Lasgna on top...cheese... gosh everything looks great in here. Must try - since I get leftover fennel bulb when I buy a big bulk. :-)

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  17. I love fennel, & you're right I have never come across cooking it in milk.

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  18. It is lovely cooked with milk, especially knowing that you can used the milk again to make the sauce. But now I have no more fennels in the garden :-(. The last two were eaten last week.

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  19. La cottura nel latte dovrebbe smorzare anche l'aroma molto forte del finocchio, bell'idea, mi piace!
    A presto!

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  20. Per quanto riguarda i savoiardi sardi cercherò di pubblicare presto la ricetta così te li potrai fare in casa, sono ottimi anche a colazione, qui li servono per accompagnare caffè o malvasia ma si prestano a mille utilizzi.
    Ciao bella!

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  21. Fantastico Dana, la ricetta dei savoiardi sardi mi piacerebbe davvero!

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  22. This looks wonderful! Have never read of a recipe like this and am so glad you shared it. I don't have much luck with Florence Fennel in my garden but they will be at the markets soon.

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  23. This sounds, and looks, like it would be delicious, Alessandra. I never heard of cooking fennel in milk. I like how you used the lasagna noodles as "blankets" for the fennel!

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